If there is one thing that the Warner Bros. home video division is great at, it’s constantly releasing the same movies over and over and over again (note to Warner Archive — you are the exception, you guys rule). It seems every few years, “Casablanca” gets put through another anniversary release or restoration with another box set or deluxe edition. Meanwhile, did you know that WB quietly snuck Orson Welles‘ long-awaited “The Magnificent Ambersons” onto shelves earlier this year in a barebones version with zero extras? Despite promising for years that it would get an extras-laden treatment? Face it, Bogart moves more units that Welles. And while we understand there will always be an audience for consumers who want a classic movie in their collection without having to think about it or even watch it, WB’s next move is truly egregious.
Yesterday, the studio talked to press about their plans for their 90th anniversary in 2013, and in addition to unveiling a new logo and announcing a slate of DVD collections and whatnot, WB revealed that they are converting “The Wizard Of Oz” from 2D to 3D for a forthcoming home video release. It seems that after 2005’s Two-Disc Special Edition and Three-Disc Collector’s Edition (yes, they came out the same year) and an expansive 70th anniversary release on both BluRay and DVD (spanning four and five discs respectively) in 2009, WB has run out of things to do with “The Wizard Of Oz,” so they decided, “Fuck it, let’s just 3D this thing.”
For a company about to celebrate ninety years in the business, this is a pretty appalling way to crap on the legacy of one of the most beloved films under their banner (though, if we’re going to be technical, ‘Oz’ was originally an MGM production, but those are just details). But hey, a buck is a buck is a buck. And you know, for kids! Because all that black-and-white stuff at the beginning might put those restless youngins’ to sleep. “The Wizard Of Oz: 3D!” is slated for a fall 2013 release.
No word yet on what WB’s plans are for their 100th anniversary, but at this rate we wouldn’t be surprised if they called up Ted Turner and asked him if he was still interested in colorizing old movies. [Collider]