From ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to ‘Harry Potter’ series, a look at stellar epics on screen

Renowned stories and legends have always been a favourite subject of movie makers as many have revisited the stories and brought them to life with new angles and storylines. With The Archies by filmmaker Zoya Akhtar being the latest addition to the list, we bring you popular movies and series based on such stories.

From ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to ‘Harry Potter’ series, a look at stellar epics on screen
The story is still popularly read by children. In the story, when a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are taken away in their house to Oz, the magical land.

The Wizard of Oz
The 1939 American musical fantasy The Wizard of Oz was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was an adaptation of L Frank Baum’s children’s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It stars Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton. The film was then characterised by its use of technicolour, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and memorable characters. The Wizard of Oz was moderately successful upon its original release of August 25, 1939. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards. The story is still popularly read by children. In the story, when a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are taken away in their house to Oz, the magical land.

Riverdale
The Archies have been one of the most loved comic series of young teens. The American teen drama Riverdale is based on the comic series and produced by Warner Bros Television and CBS Studios, in association with Archie Comics and Berlanti Productions. The series was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia. It stars KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, and Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, the narrator of the series. In the series, the group of teenagers team up to solve a murder mystery in Riverdale and in the process, uncover the hidden secrets of the town. In all, the series has eight seasons, with the final one premiering in 2023.

Little Women
There have been many animated adaptations of popular children’s story Little Women. The most recent one being the 2019 American coming of age drama by Greta Gerwig. It was the seventh adaptation of the 1868 novel Little Women written by Louisa May Alcott. The story is that of four March sisters, namely Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth living in the 19th century Massachusetts. It follows the years after the Civil War where Jo is a writer, Amy is studying painting in Paris, Meg is married while Beth develops an illness that unites the family. The movie starred Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson and Florence Pugh, among others. The movie premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2019.

The Lord of the Rings
The series of three epic fantasy adventure films by Peter Jackson are based on the novel of the same name by JRR Tolkien. Like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings too has gained cult status and following in literature and films. The three films are The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003). The films star Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin and Cate Blanchett, among others. It is set in a fictional middle-earth and follows the hobbit Frodo as he, along with the Fellowship, set out to destroy the Ring for the destruction of its maker. All the three films were shot in New Zealand and were considered to be the most ambitious film projects ever with a film budget of $281 million.

The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book has had many adaptations through the years. The story of an infant growing up among the wild is a popular one in children’s literature. The 2016 American adventure drama was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and based on Rudyard Kipling’s eponymous collective works. It was a remake of Walt Disney’s 1967 rendition of the story. In the film, Neel Sethi plays Mowgli, an orphaned human boy who grows up among his animal guardians and sets out on a journey of self-discovery.

Harry Potter
The series of seven fantasy novels written by author JK Rowling has become a classic. The story chronicles the lives of young wizard Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, studying at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The novels were published by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom and in the US by Scholastic Press. Soon films were made on the novel which became equally popular and gained commercial and critical success worldwide. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Maggie Smith, among others. The series has been recognised as the cornerstone of modern literature for young adults.

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