I know I’m getting ahead of myself here, worrying about what would happen to my characters after I’m dead given that a) I’m not even published yet and b) I’m alive (as of this writing), but re-inventing or re-interpreting or re-imagining another’s masterpiece feels wrong. Doing it after they're dead and can't respond, is worse.
I’m not talking about West Side Story (a re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet). I’m talking about Wicked, a story that completely redefines the roles of good and evil in The Wizard of Oz. If Frank L. Baum had wanted the Wicked Witch of the West to be a sympathetic character, he could have written her that way. If the author of Wicked wanted to write about misunderstood, sympathetic witches, he was free to do so, but doing it within Baum’s universe feels incredibly disrespectful, like peeing on a grave.