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Casting Call: L. Frank Baum

L. Frank's cousin Josie Baum was Maud's roommate at Cornell, and first introduced the future husband and wife. We don't know much about her, so we're going to assume she is pretty, vaguely cheerful, and a little bit mischievous and cast Alison Brie.


L. Frank Baum was a bit of a weirdo. The son of wealthy family from Mattydale, New York, before Baum turned to writing fiction he collected stamps, bred chickens, wrote an article about breading chickens, wrote a book about breeding chickens, and was an actor. Benedict Cumberbatch seems like a bit of a weirdo, too—or at least he can play one convincingly. Providing he's not bored of period roles and/or biopics, we think Cumberbatch would be a great Baum.



After the death of L. Frank Baum, Ruth Plumly Thompson took over the land of Oz. She wrote over 20 Oz books between 1921 and 1976, and was involved in the 1939 Judy Garland film. Emily Browning is our first choice for the role.


Maud Gage, L. Frank's wife, was a pretty cool ladyintelligent, independent, and ahead of her time. Before marrying L. Frank, Maud attended Cornell. She was one of a handful of women in her class and the first woman in her family to go to college. Unfortunately Cornell wasn't quite ready for her and she was bullied. Once married, she became the right brain of the Baum household, handling the finances and even the rights to her husband's books. We envision Juliet Rylance in the role of Maud. Yes, this is typecasting, but we can't help it—Rylance is so wonderful as a turn-of-the-century, self-sufficient woman of means in The Knick.


Maud's mother, Matilda Joslyn Gage, was a famous feminist. We nominate the ever-graceful Vanessa Redgrave to play Matilda.


Dorothy, the protagonist of L. Frank's most famous book, The Wondeful Wizard of Oz, was named after his niece, Dorothy Louise Gage, who died when she was just five years old. We'd like Lily Rabe to play Dorothy's mother and Maud's sister, Helen Gage.