March 27th, 2011

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Sam Raimi directing Wizard of Oz prequel starring James Franco

Director Sam Raimi, known for his Evil Dead movies, Spider-Man, and Xena and Hercules series, will be directing Disney's Oz, the Great and Powerful, due in 2013.  The movie tells how the Wizard, played by James Franco, is transported to Oz and gets between the wicked witches ruling the land.  Mila Kunas from Black Swan plays Glinda's sister Theodora, the witch who turns from good to evil when spurned by the Wizard.

Franco is the third choice for the Wizard, after Robert Downey, Jr. pulled out of the project, and Johnny Depp turned it down after negotiations.  That doesn't bode well for the movie, which seems from the description to be going for the Wicked demographic instead of fans of Frank L. Baum's original stories.

MSN Movies article.
Movieweb article.