‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Begins Filming; Official Synopsis Released

Published 3 years ago by

Oz Logo 550x550 Oz the Great and Powerful Begins Filming; Official Synopsis Released

Cameras have officially started rolling on Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great and Powerful, which Walt Disney Pictures is hoping will follow in the footsteps of Alice in Wonderland and become the next ultra-popular spinoff of a classic piece of literature (and its respective previous film adaptations).

Rather than the semi-sequel route that Alice went, Oz is a semi-prequel to the classic Wizard of Oz story that incorporates several elements from author L. Frank Baum’s original Oz novels with some brand new material to give it a “fresher” feel.

Starring as Oz the Great and Powerful is Oscar-nominee James Franco, who previously collaborated with Raimi on his Spider-Man trilogy. Raimi will also reunite with composer Danny Elfman on this project, marking the pair’s first teamup since their fallout after Spider-Man 2.

Here is the official synopsis for Oz: The Great and Powerful:

When Oscar Diggs (James 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 (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle 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.

Additional cast members for the film include Zach Braff as Diggs’ put-upon circus assistant (and the voice of a CGI-winged monkey named Finley); Joey King as another digitally-rended character, the fragile China Girl; and Abigail Spencer as “a young woman who is a willing subject of Oz’s magic tricks.” Any bets on whether or not she ends up being seduced by Franco’s non-magical shyster?

Oz the Great and Powerful to be released in March 2013 Oz the Great and Powerful Begins Filming; Official Synopsis Released

Disney is clearly hoping that Oz takes off at the box office like Alice in Wonderland did last year. Not only are the basic ingredients (beloved literary source material, celebrity-filled cast, and a quirky blockbuster director) the same, Oz will also utilize the talents of Alice producer Joe Roth, production designer Robert Stromberg, and composer Danny Elfman. That’s not to mention, Raimi’s film is scheduled for release almost exactly three years after Tim Burton’s Alice hit theaters.

The odds of Oz the Great and Powerful coming anywhere close to matching Alice‘s billion dollar success seem rather poor, put mildly. Franco may be a big name, but he’s nowhere near the bankable star that Johnny Depp is, especially when Tim Burton is involved. Plus, the main appeal of Alice was how it seemed like a match made in heaven, bringing together a very popular and eccentric actor-director duo to offer what (visually, at least) promised to be a phantasmagorical take on Lewis Carroll’s strange but beloved source material. Matching Raimi and Franco with the Oz story just doesn’t read as quite so lucrative on paper – even though the final product could very much be an improvement on Depp and Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

We’ll see how it all works out when Oz the Great and Powerful arrives in theaters on March 8th, 2013.

Source: Walt Disney Pictures

TAGS: the great and powerful oz, the wizard of oz

11 Comments

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  1. Well it seems like a *Sleeper….
    With everybody throwing *Popular Heavyweights out there next Summer…

    Like Jon Favure said,what wad told to Him about the first IRONMAN …only so many seats on the Bus when it comes to Summer Movies….
    5 at best…
    Agree?

  2. Sounds interesting but Idk why universal isn’t going full steam ahead on a “Wicked” movie. That’s the only Oz people wanna see.

    • I don’t. I waded through that boring book.

      • I HAVE GREAT HOPES FOR THIS ONE. WHAT MIGHT SEEM LIKE A SLEEPER COULD TURN OUT TO BE A SMASH HIT! THE CASTING IS DESIRABLE…GOOD SUPPORT CAST. I AM EXCITED TO SEE THE OUTCOME….

      • not the book, the broadway musical which is incredibly better

  3. Has potential. I’ll wait to hear more about it.

  4. C’mon, Sam, you’re better than this…a waste of time, money, celluloid, blood, & treasure!

    • Agreed. Sam needs to get away from the hacks he’s surrounded himself with. This is ridiculous. Come on, Sam. You’ve made enough money. Time to start taking some serious creative risks.

  5. Sounds like an idea whose time has come.I like the idea of a Wicked movie as well. I have not seen it or read the book but I understand it did well on broadway.As far which version gets developed when or by whom I guess it depends on who owns the movie rights to what.

  6. shoulda proof read my choice of name here too DOH!

  7. This movie is inspired by the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, and there was even a film “The Wizard of Oz” in the early 1930s. Although it’s a fantasy, with all those magical places and creature, and whatsoever, there are also lessons learned from the movie. I agree that we have our own point of views, but we cannot just limit ourselves on the genre of the film, but it’s actually getting deeper into it.It’s the essence of analyzing the lessons behind the movie.

    This movie, I think, Oz the Great and Powerful, will be great compared to the older version/s. With the kind of technology we have in the present, I think it would be able to put emphasis on the effects, to make them look real, for the viewers to really feel the essence of the entire movie. I’m looking forward to a positive feedback.

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