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Oz the Great and Powerful

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A prequel to The Wizard of Oz is in the works.

Details vary on who's considering it.

Today, Production Weekly tweeted:

Sam Mendes is the front runner to direct 'Oz The Great And Powerful' by Mitchell Kapner, with Robert Downey, Jr. circling to play the Wizard.

Earlier, there was a report that mentioned Baz Luhrmann as a possible director, with both Downey Jr. and Depp (of course) being pursued for the role of the Wizard.

(FYI: A related thread.)

Edited by Overstreet

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As much as I like Downey, I think Depp really needs a chance to finally play a quirky loner.

I'd much prefer Baz over Mendes, too.


It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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Overstreet wrote:

: (FYI: A related thread.)

The other thread refers to a couple of projects at Warner and/or New Line. Any word on who's developing this "prequel"?


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Ah, okay, it's a Disney production:

Meanwhile, two directors are said to be considered top candidates to get behind the camera: "American Beauty" director Sam Mendes (who may have some time on his hands now that "Bond 23" is in trouble) and "Hairspray" and "Bedtime Stories" director Adam Shankman, who most recently pulled the strings from behind the curtain at the Oscars. . . .

The wizard, who in the Baum books was a charlatan in Kansas before arriving in Oz, is a more dark and complex character in the Roth/Kapner version than the desperate and doddering wizard of the MGM musical (played by Frank Morgan) would suggest, which in turn makes it seem like it would be perfect for Downey (and few others).

The two directors being considered, meanwhile, would seem to mark two directions for the picture, given the more subdued and even bleaker tones that have infused Mendes' work and the lighter, more whimsical one that has marked Shankman's. . . .

And of course, it will be in 3D.

Strange Culture notes some of the other Oz-related films that are currently in the works, too.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Perhaps Sam Raimi?


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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Pajiba.com:

Spoilers Below

We now know for certain that Sam Raimi’s next project will be Oz the Great and Powerful, a prequel of sorts to The Wizard of Oz, and that Robert Downey, Jr., though it’s not official, is expected to take the lead. We also knew that the movie would focus on a younger wizard, and his origins in the Land of Oz. Thanks to the Hollywood Cog, we now know quite a few details about Mitchell Kapner’s story, which would have the Wizard — a snake-oil salesman posing as a magician — enter Oz via a hot-air balloon, which he uses to escape an angry husband who has found out that Oz slept with his wife. There, Oz — a fast-talking huckster who wears a velveteen frock coat (yes, I can see that) — falls in love with Glinda (the Good Witch), and the two combine forces to Fight the Evil Witches Evanora and Theodora. Theodora starts out as a good witch, but after Oz jilts her sexual advances, Evanora — the truly evil witch — convinces Theodora to become an evil witch with her and help her to rule all of Oz. Both Evanora and Theodora are described as incredibly attractive, seductive women, and Theodora likes to wear black, thigh-high boots. What is this? Oz porn? . . .


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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EXCLUSIVE: Robert Downey Jr. Out of 'Oz,' Johnny Depp to Take Over?

Robert Downey Jr. has fallen out of Oz, the Great and Powerful, Disney’s prequel-ish take on The Wizard of Oz tale, and the studio is in discussions with Johnny Depp to step into the great wizard’s robe.

Sam Raimi is due to direct the tale of Oz as a young illusionist with a grandiose attitude who is forced to flee a traveling circus. His hot air balloon is swept up by a tornado to the land of Oz, which is run by two magical wicked witches. . . .

Hollywood Reporter, January 19


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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James Franco in Early Talks for 'Oz' After Johnny Depp Passes (Exclusive)

The latest contender for the Oz throne? James Franco.

The Oscar-nominated host of the Academy Awards is in early talks to star in Oz, the Great and Powerful, Disney’s prequel-ish take on The Wizard of Oz tale being directed by Sam Raimi.

The Oz role has been a hot one since Robert Downey Jr. fell out two and a half weeks ago. Johnny Depp was then in discussions for the role but after several meetings ultimately passed last night. . . .

Hollywood Reporter, February 4


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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The sub-heading still says Luhrmann or Mendes might direct this, but it sounds like Raimi has been confirmed now.


It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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Mila Kunis set for 'Wizard of Oz' prequel

EXCLUSIVE: Mila Kunis is set to pack her bags and head to the land of Oz.

The actress has wrapped up negotiations and sealed a deal with Disney to play Theodora, the youngest sister of three witches, in "Oz, the Great and Powerful," the prequel to 1939's "The Wizard of Oz."

Kunis will co-star opposite James Franco, who portrays a fast-talking snake oil salesman and illusionist who flees a traveling circus and winds up whisked away in a hot air balloon by a tornado to Oz where he must face off against real magic and the sisters battling for control of the land.

Theodora starts out as a good witch, alongside her beautiful sister Glinda, but after her sexual advances are jilted by Franco's salesman, she's convinced by Evanora to switch sides and help her older sister rule Oz. . . .

Pic will reunite Kunis with Franco, who appeared in a cameo in last year's comedy "Date Night." Duo also filmed the Funny or Die short, "The Hills," in 2007, as a spoof of the MTV reality series.

The studio has started considering other actresses for the other sister roles, including Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams, Kate Beckinsale, Keira Knightley and Rebecca Hall. . . .

Variety, March 25


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Sam Raimi Wants Hilary Swank for Oz, Disney Not So Sure

It’s not quite "DEFCON 1," but relations between director Sam Raimi and Disney have gotten extremely heated of late, and the reason has to do with studio brass's strong opinions over the casting of Oz, the Great and the Powerful. Insiders tell Vulture that Raimi has been adamant about casting two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as one of the elder witches in the film. However, Vulture is also informed that Disney is strongly opposed to such an idea. The studio has been pushing Raimi to offer the part to Michelle Williams, herself a two-time Oscar nominee, most recently for the Weinstein Co.'s ’s Blue Valentine. . . .

Vulture, New York, April 22


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Disney taps Michelle Williams as Glinda in 'Oz'

Exclusive: Michelle Williams is in talks with Disney for the role of Glinda, the good witch, in "Oz, the Great and Powerful."

Casting now completes the coven of three witches the Mouse House needed to move forward with the fantasy pic that starts lensing in Michigan in July.

Williams' character would team up with snake oil salesman James Franco to face off against her evil sisters, played by Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis, in a power struggle for control of the magical land of Oz. . . .

Variety, May 17


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Warner Bros. Wins Key Legal Ruling Impacting All 'Wizard of Oz' Remakes (Exclusive)

"The court's statement that the film copyrights cover 'all visual depictions' of the characters recognizes that there is often a quintessential version of a literary character that exists in the public's mind as a result of a popular film adaption," says Aaron Moss, the chair of litigation at Greenberg Glusker. " Any filmmaker that wants to create a new version of a literary work -- even one in the public domain -- needs to be careful not to use copyrightable elements of characters that first appear in protected motion picture versions of the works. Of course, when it comes to characters depicted by live actors, this may be easier said than done."

Hollywood Reporter, July 6

'Wizard' ruling sows caution

As studios capitalize on works in the public domain, including "The Wizard of Oz," Warner Bros. has won a key court ruling that could give creators pause in how much leeway they have in exploiting individual characters from classic stories. . . .

Decision could be a warning shot to other studios and producers developing Wizard of Oz projects, including Disney, which is planning "Oz: The Great and Powerful," to be directed by Sam Raimi. Although the L. Frank Baum book, written more than 100 years ago, is in the public domain, the ruling adds a layer of complexity. Other studios will have to be cautious about which character traits belong to the book and which belong to the 1939 MGM classic. . . .

Variety, July 7


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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It's kinda like combining the new poster for The Hobbit with the poster from UP, but I really like this....

oz-great-and-powerful-poster.jpg


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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The trailer, which premiered today at Comic-con 2012 in San Diego.


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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"From the Producers of Alice in Wonderland" is NOT a selling point. In fact, that's almost as bad as putting in the name M. Night Shyamalan.

Doesn't "from the director of Spider-man" offset that?


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Persiflage wrote:

: "From the Producers of Alice in Wonderland" is NOT a selling point.

I dunno, it worked well enough for Snow White and the Huntsman, which had a bigger opening weekend than just about any other film that starred those actors (not counting the Twilight and Avengers franchises, natch).


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"From the Producers of Alice in Wonderland" is NOT a selling point. In fact, that's almost as bad as putting in the name M. Night Shyamalan.

From a marketing point of view, it is. Until The Avengers knocked it out, Alice in Wonderland was the #10 top grossing film worldwide.


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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1) Can I just point out that they've taken a fantasy series known for having female leads across multiple books and totally re-fit it to center around a male character? Is no one but me griping about this?

2) "Prophecy blah blah blah." See: Alice in Wonderland. It was boring there and it looks boring here.

3) Cool stuff--the porcelain village from the first book finally makes an appearance on-screen. There's a tremendous potential here to capture some of the weird stuff from the novel that simply couldn't make it into the older movie versions.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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