I go away to New York for a couple of days and it’s suddenly announced that not-very-prolific director John Boorman has a new project and it’s a CGI adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum’s famous fantasy book.

I have to admit I’ve been wondering when we’d be back in Oz – the franchise remains shockingly untapped beyond the first two books, leaving 12 more to be adapted. And better yet, they’re all public domain in the United States. With the huge fantasy revival going on it seemed like a flop like Return to Oz wouldn’t be enough to keep Hollywood out of the Emerald City forever.

But France got to it first, and Boorman’s adaptation – costing a bargain basement and sequel-guaranteeing 25 million dollars – is already well underway for a 2010 release. Now Aint It Cool has nabbed some of the concept art for the film, and I like what I see. It looks more than a touch Miyazakian, for starters.

Head over to AICN to see all of the main characters and Munchkinland. I like the Tin Woodsman a lot.

By the way, I haven’t had a chance to read anyone else’s coverage of Boorman’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz – has anybody commented on how perfect this is, since his borderline unwatchable classic Sean Connery in a diaper movie Zardoz actually uses Wizard of Oz as a crucual plot point? The title itself is Wi(Zard) of (Oz). Amazing!