03 June 2006

Low-budget movie deal for Roger S. Baum

Publishers Weekly reports that Alpine Pictures has optioned seven of the latter-day Oz books written by Roger S. Baum, great-grandson of L. Frank Baum. Among the titles mentioned are Dorothy of Oz, The Oz Odyssey, and The Rewolf of Oz.

Yahoo! Finance says Alpine Pictures "concentrates on the domestic and international distribution of low-budget motion pictures, distributing films to theatrical, cable, broadcast, and home video (DVD) markets." IMDB.com offers an Alpine filmography. For these books, Alpine hopes to develop a series of animated features. One Roger S. Baum book was
already made into a movie, Lion of Oz (also known by other titles), in 2000.

I find Roger S. Baum's Oz stories flat and derivative even for pastiches--and I do a lot of work with Oz pastiches. I suspect these books wouldn't be distributed so widely if the author were a matrilineal descendant of Baum instead of a patrilineal one (i.e., one who happens to carry the Baum name). But Roger S. Baum's website offers a different take: "He is considered one of the current top ten best-selling authors of children's books. Some believe that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series may have been influenced by these adventures in OZ." So he definitely has the character of a humbug down cold.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what an inflated opinion RSBaum and/or his publicist seem(s) to have of him. I have not read any Harry Potter, but it seems dubious to me that J.K. Rowling would have immitated him, or is even aware of him and his books. The only book of his I've read was "Dorothy of Oz" and it was overly sappy and had a forced cuteness, miles away from the image I have of the Potter material. -Matt Goode

Anonymous said...

I find Roger S. Baum's Oz books to be wonderful. I cannot find any reference by R.S. Baum insinuating that J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter) was influenced by Roger Baum.

I for one hope he keeps his wonderful works up and there must be a very good reason why movies are planned, from his books, and why he is in the top ten children's authors. Of course, there is always a difference of opinion. There are some that don't even like L.Frank Baum's (Wizard of Oz) books.

J. L. Bell said...

To find the suggestion that Roger S. Baum influenced J. K. Rowling, follow these steps:
1) Click on the link provided in the posting above.
2) Scroll down that page to find the words quoted in the posting above.

You may suggest that's not really Roger S. Baum himself insinuating, or insinuating himself. As Matt Goode said, the suggestion comes from "RSBaum and/or his publicist." It's presented as "Some suggest," thus giving cover to all who wrote and approved that website's text.

I for one would be interested in seeing the basis of that statement on the website—i.e., documentation that anyone else had made that suggestion previously.