Two Top Secret Sphere Film Projects in the Works: U2, “Wizard of Oz”

The scoop just oozes out of us like chocolate from a box of See’s you accidentally left in your car for two minutes on a 300-degree day in Las Vegas.

The Sphere at Venetian is working on two new, top secret (until we wrote that headline and the next paragraph, anyway) movies for the eye-popping Las Vegas entertainment venue and attraction.

One of the 60-minute films will feature U2, the band whose residency helped put The Sphere on the map. The other film is being made in collaboration with Warner Bros. studio and will be an offshoot of the timeless classic, “The Wizard of Oz.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Dear lawyers, they’re red shoes. Red, not ruby. And they aren’t slippers. They’re pumps or whatever. Go chase an ambulance or whatever. We are above the law.

Sphere’s current film, “Postcard From Earth,” is slaying, as our fellow kids say. Translated into old, ticket sales are boffo, despite being around $100 on the low end.

Anyway, Sphere knows where its bread is buttered, so it’s making more films to augment its offerings and spur repeat business.

A U2 experience seems a perfect fit, as the band’s residency has been well-received, and we trust the band and Madison Square Gardens (MSG, owners of Sphere) have been capturing their performances for future use. This, it seems, was one of the future uses.

Oh, technically, The Sphere is owned by Sphere Entertainment Co. Madison Square Gardens Entertainment spun off Sphere Entertainment Co. because they wanted to insulate MSG from the financial risk posed by the massive cost of construction of The Sphere. The Sphere was originally supposed to cost a whopping $1.2 billion. Ultimately, it cost a whoppinger $2.3 billion. What’s a billion clams between friends?

We imagine the U2 show won’t be a straight concert film, but will integrate performance footage as well as original graphics suited to showcase the uniqueness of the Sphere. You know, how it slaps. Do we need to teach you everything? It’s like “fly,” except people haven’t used “fly” for three decades or around the time Bono turned middle aged.

Imagine a Sphere movie about a U2 residency at The Sphere. The “Inception” of Las Vegas experiences.

As mentioned, both of the new films will run about 60 minutes. “Postcards From Earth” is about 50 minutes long. Keeping the films short means additional shows each day when compared to a typical theatrical film (two hours and 20 minutes on average, “Dune 2” was three hours), conducive to optimizing revenue.

U2 was in Las Vegas on June 3, 2024, to confer with the Sphere and its creative team about the project, then the band was off to Burbank, California. Burbank is the home of MSG Sphere Studios, a facility used to develop content ultimately presented in The Sphere at Venetian. There’s even a baby Sphere. It’s adorable. Here’s a look inside, despite reams of NDAs visitors have to sign.

As these projects haven’t been announced yet, details are few. We’re basically just sharing this scoop so Johnny Kleptometes at the Las Vegas Review-Journal knows who his daddy is.

As for the other film-slash-experience, fans of classic cinema should be over the rainbow at the news “The Wizard of Oz” could get the Sphere treatment.

We trust there will be a twist, and the original film will serve as a springboard for the wizards at the Sphere to do what they do. Blow minds. That’s in the job description. The way we’ve heard it described is a “new” take on the original film, but is not intended to “compete” with it. As if anything could, really. That’s some big red shoes to fill.

While “The Wizard of Oz” was released nearly a century ago (no really, it was 1939), there are legions of fans of this film, and it would be awesome if Sphere figured out a way to make the movie relevant to new generations of fans.

There’s this moment in “The Wizard of Oz” where the black-and-white movie (sepia, technically) becomes vibrant Technicolor. When the film was originally shown, people’s heads exploded. It took theater cleaning personnel weeks to clean up the mess.

The Sphere is perhaps the only venue on Earth that could create that sense of wonder again. Dorothy’s first step into Oz was an epic collision of technology and creativity. Let’s have some of that, shan’t we? Who opens doors like that, though? Moving on.

“The Wizard of Oz” was ahead of its time and is perfectly suited for Las Vegas. Beyond the fact MGM Grand was originally “Oz” themed, of course. In the movie, Dorothy asked the Scarecrow, “That’s funny. Wasn’t he pointing the other way?” The Scarecrow replies, “Of course, people do go both ways.” We are not making this up. You thought this was a movie for kids?

And remember the wicked witch’s crystal ball? Remind you of anything? How about The Sphere? Please keep up. Professor Marvel had a crystal ball, too. It’s like The Sphere was created in the shape of a ball to have an “Oz” experience.

Las Vegas has always set the bar for sensory overload, The Sphere is continuing that tradition in ways Bugsy and Benny Binion and Jay Sarno could never have imagined.

We recently visited The Sphere to see “Postcards From Earth” and we quite enjoyed it. We will probably write a blog post about our experience at some point, but we are very busy and important.

Let’s just say that at the moment, anyone visiting Las Vegas is visiting The Sphere. It’s actually affecting ticket sales at traditional Las Vegas shows.

These new movie projects, and their associated experiences, are sure to keep interest in The Sphere high, along with the venue’s interesting collection of live shows, including Phish and Dead & Company. Other artists have been rumored, but no big announcements have been forthcoming. Acts in talks with The Sphere reportedly include The Eagles, Beyonce and The Weeknd.

We’ll pass along anything more we hear, and our breath is bated in anticipation of official announcements of these film projects by The Sphere at Venetian. Give it a minute.