Oz: The Great and Powerful

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Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke confirmed bright and early this morning that Sam Raimi has agreed to direct Disney's 3-D prequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ, currently titled OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (it used to be called BRICK) - and since she hasn't rewritten the article in the last few hours, I guess we can assume the story is 100% correct. The screenplay by Mitchell Kapner (THE WHOLE NINE YARDS, INTO THE BLUE 2: THE REEF) purports to give us a "dark and complex" origin tale in which the Wizard is whisked away from his earthbound circus-wrangler gig to the land of Oz, where the natives confuse him for an all-knowing god. Or something like that.

If Disney gets their way, Robert Downey Jr. will star as the Wizard (the role is currently being rewritten with him in mind). The studio is clearly chasing the success of this year's dreadful ALICE IN WONDERLAND. In their favor, they're not rehashing an oft-told story; unfortunately, they've chosen to go the tired origin route rather than adapt another of L. Frank Baum's books.

This is the first of four in-development OZ films to get a greenlight.


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Walt Disney Pictures has released the poster for director Sam Raimi's Oz The Great and Powerful, the fantasy adventure opening on March 8, 2013 and starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams and Zach Braff.

The film imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot--fame and fortune are his for the taking--that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Kunis), Evanora (Weisz) and Glinda (Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity--and even a bit of wizardry--Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.


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