May 28, 2023

Wicked‘s first-look images get mocked in a “2023 Remaster” of 1939’s The Wizard of Oz. Recently, Wicked director Jon M. Chu released the first-look images of stars Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo as Glinda Upland and Elphaba Thropp, respectively, and was immediately criticized on social media. Users complained about their lack of lighting, in which they could barely see Grande and Erivo’s appearance as the rest of the frame was shrouded in darkness.


Brutally mocking its first-look images, actor Jared Gilman posted a “2023 Remaster” of The Wizard of Oz on Twitter. Check out what it looks like below:

“Remastering” the scene in which Dorothy (Judy Garland) opens the door to the land of Oz for the first time, which signified the passage from black and white to Technicolor, the entire movie becomes dark as soon as Dorothy opens the door.

Related: What The First Color Film Really Is (It’s Not Wizard Of Oz)

The Wizard of Oz’s “2023 Remaster” Mocks a Recurring Hollywood Trend

Wicked is not the only piece of media to have been criticized for its lack of lighting, especially when it comes to readapting the timeless story of The Wizard of Oz, whose first film adaptation extensively used color to create the bright and vivid world of Oz. The live-action remake of The Little Mermaid received the same treatment when its first TV spot was released, in which the bright and colorful sea became filled with muted colors and a barely perceptible look at Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula. Peter Pan & Wendy, and Obi-Wan Kenobi also received the same criticism on social media, noting the lack of compelling lighting.

With a preference for digital filming as opposed to film cameras, many high-profile titles have been plagued with poor lighting, which has recently been receiving widespread scrutiny. The criticisms have only grown louder with each passing title, in which audience members routinely complain that they cannot see the action because of its poor lighting. In the case of Disney’s live-action remakes, the criticisms have been directed at their achievement of realism instead of a more imaginative and visually creative world, especially when it comes to representing the sea in The Little Mermaid.

While the first-look images of Wicked’s main characters are only first look and may only be shrouded in darkness for a later reveal, audiences’ criticisms have only grown towards poorly-lit blockbusters. Others like Jordan Peele’s NOPE and Matt Reeves’ The Batman achieved shooting movies with night sequences, where the scenes are bright enough for the audience to actively see what’s on the screen and engage with the material. Time will tell what style Wicked will adopt when its first part releases in theaters on November 27, 2024.

Source: Jared Gilman

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