I later admitted that he was speaking politically, in so that what he said was not the truth, but palatable and truthish.
I admit that the real truth is that they didn't want to (or couldn't) pay MGM because they're cheap.
I just believe that Rami could have built better lies to cover up his cheapness.
Do we really believe that if he could have gotten the ruby slipppers, free of charge that he still would have declined the opportunity to use them? What sort of maniac turns down free shit?
But Disney might not have even approached MGM because either they're wussies or defeatists, daunted by the prohibitive costs.
I've mentioned Wicked a couple times. They seem to have "stage show rights" to use Ruby slippers which would not translate into "film rights" and thereafter Wicked would have to then use "silver" shoes or someone hands over money to MGM to process the transition to film.
Disney has done it before and they could have done it again, but they wussed out.
In 1985 Disney released Return to Oz, and while that movie was an amalgam of Oz book sequels (and featured character designs directly lifted from the Oz book illustrations, as opposed to The Wizard of Oz, which created mostly new designs), director Walter Murch wanted to use the famous Ruby Slippers. Disney paid through the nose to license the image from MGM.
Was Return to Oz a bomb?
Once bitten, twice shy?
I showed Return of Oz to my nephew recently and he LOVED it.