Return to Oz with Sam Raimi’s New Film ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’
You may not be aware of this (I wasn’t), but in 2013, Disney will be releasing Oz the Great and Powerful, a film by Sam Raimi that tells the story of the Wizard of Oz. Literally, the movie will give us the story of how the Wizard went from a small-time magician in Kansas to the ruler of the Land of Oz. Film Equals was at Comic-Con for the world premiere of the first trailer for this extraordinary film.
James Franco plays the titular character, a womanizing master of prestidigitation who, like Dorothy eventually would be, is carried away to Oz by a powerful tornado. He finds a beautiful and magical world filled with witches, flying monkeys, and yellow brick roads…a world desperately searching for a savior. Although we already know that he will eventually step into that role, the journey to get to that end result will be full of drama and action and maybe even a little bit of romance. He seemed pretty enamored with a young Glinda the Good Witch, but that’s easy to do when the part is played by two-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams.
She was at Comic-Con, along with Mila Kunis who will be portraying Theodora, most likely an alternate name for the Wicked Witch of the West. But this film is a quasi-prequel, and in the trailer, Theodora didn’t seem wicked at all. In fact, Kunis claims she’s just a girl who whole-heartedly believes that this stranger from Kansas will save her world. As for what happens to change that…we’ll just have to wait and see. Williams and Kunis did admit, though, that they didn’t get to film many scenes together.
Make no mistake. This is not a straight prequel to the 1939 classic. The writers searched the world of L. Frank Baum’s books and pieced together the history of Oz, pre-Dorothy. Raimi made it clear that there will be no scarecrows, tin men or cowardly lions. There will also be no ruby slippers as the rights to use them are tied up. But he promises an epic tale, an expansion of a world that most of us grew up longing to see, and if the trailer is any indication, we will not be disappointed.
Oz the Great and Powerful lands in theatres in March 2013.