‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Cast Returning for Sequel; Sam Raimi Not Directing?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 12th, 2013 at 6:33 pm,

oz great powerful sequel Oz the Great and Powerful Cast Returning for Sequel; Sam Raimi Not Directing?

Oz the Great and Powerful‘s quasi-prequel status and questionable trailers had us wondering if Disney’s attempt to repeat Alice in Wonderland‘s tentpole $ucce$$ would pan out or fizzle. However, we can now safely claim that Sam Raimi’s Oz flick isn’t the next John Carter (re: a $200 million + investment that fails to jump-start a new franchise), following an $80 million opening weekend in the U.S. and $150 million debut haul worldwide.

With no significant competition arriving over the next two weeks and solid word-of-mouth (read our review), Oz the Great and Powerful shouldn’t have much trouble becoming a profitable venture for the Mouse House (passing over additional tie-in merchandise sales, that is). Hence, it’s reasonable to assume that the developing followup will make its way beyond the writing stage of development.

Oz costars Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams are playing coy about the prospect of a sequel, but Mila Kunis has already informed E! Online that “We’re all signed on for sequels.” The film’s story engineer and co-screenwriter Mitchell Kapner has free reign to draw from L. Frank Baum’s Oz literature for the sequel, but cannot use elements unique to MGM’s iconic musical The Wizard of Oz. So, for example: if Dorothy Gale shows up, she could end up wearing the silver shoes from Baum’s source novel (but not the famous ruby pair from the 1939 movie).

It appears that Kapner is working alone on the sequel script, as Oz co-writer David Lindsay-Abaire is busy writing the Poltergeist remake (which Raimi is producing). Abaire is the award-winning playwright and screenwriter who revised Kapner’s Oz the Great and Powerful script after Raimi committed to directing – so, is Kapner’s final sequel draft going to receive a similar rewrite treatment from Abaire at a later time? Well, that doesn’t appear to be the plan (see below).

oz great powerful sequel sam raimi Oz the Great and Powerful Cast Returning for Sequel; Sam Raimi Not Directing?

James Franco and Sam Raimi filming ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’

Disney has Alice in Wonderland screenwriter Linda Woolverton working on the sequel script, but there’s no word yet on whether or not Tim Burton is returning as director. Similarly, the studio has Kapner penning the next Oz installment and the cast lined up, but Raimi has informed Bleeding Cool that he’s not committed to anything yet:

“I haven’t planned on directing the sequel. I did leave some loose ends for another director if they want to make the picture… I was attracted to [the 'Oz the Great and Powerful' story] but I don’t think the second one would have the thing I would need to get me interested.”

There’s a good chance Raimi will shift his attention away from the Oz franchise and instead work on a smaller project (maybe an Army of Darkness sequel), much like back when he made Drag Me to Hell after directing three Spider-Man flicks in a row. Personally, I’m wary of an Oz followup that does not involve either Abaire as co-writer or Raimi directing, and Disney likewise has motivation for tempting Raimi back (since he’s comfortable working on $200 million films by now). We shall see if he’s willing to change his mind, of course…


Oz the Great and Powerful is playing in theaters. For an in-depth discussion of the film, check back later today for the new SR Underground Podcast episode.


Source: E! Online, Bleeding Cool

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. took the family to watch it saturday i thought it was a very good movie .. the kids loved it and so did i so it worked for me .. i would watch a sequel .. or another prequel if you will.

  2. Recast James Franco PLEASE!!

    • Yeah, put George Clooney instead

      • This is one of those times we really need punctuation marks for sarcasm. I really can’t tell.

      • Haven’t seen the movie yet but i intend to at one point. I’ll admit i always felt that a more famous actor could have been casted as the Wizard instead of Franco and just based on the trailers that i watched Franco’s performance didn’t impress me all that much, but Clooney i like i think he’s fantastic and now that i think about it he would have been excellent for the role.

    • I liked him…

  3. I hope he does it. Raimi has a decent track record of squeezing out good number 2s.

    I’m talking about Evil Dead 2 and Spider-Man 2. You guys are gross…

    • HAHAHA!!

  4. I hope he does :(

    If not, I’m curious as to who will

  5. This movie is just pure MAGIC. I love the way it referenced to the Judy Garland classic in 1939 so effortlessly, AKA the scarecrow military tactic, Tinman’s father, and my favorite, Mila Kunis crying and leaving burn marks on her face :(…(Because the Wicked Witch’s weakness is water)

    • I loved it too. I didn’t catch the Tin Man’s father. Where was that.

      • I was referring to Master Tinker :)

    • gee thanks for spoiling EVERYTHING.

    • Yes and also at the beginning when Michelle Williams charter shows up at the beginning in the black and white sequence her last name is Gale.

  6. I’m starting to see where Marvel learned their habit of dropping directors after the first film in a franchise.

  7. I have not seen this movie yet but have heard some pretty positive things and the trailers certainly look interesting the thing that through me off was that i am a big fan of the broadway play WIcked and it doesn’t look like the prequel ties into the play at all but i still may see it with a friend though, can’t go wrong with Mila Kunis in my opinion lol. So it sounds like a sequel will be a lot of fun it sounds like the first one was a lot of fun for those of you that watched it, i loved what Sam Riami did with the first two spider-man movies like i love what Marc Webb does with them now, i think Sam is great its a bummer it doesn’t look like he’ll return for a sequel or anything if he doesn’t i wonder who they’ll get to replace him maybe Chris Colombus or something.

    • 1.) It’s not a prequel
      2.) “Wicked”, although a great piece of work, is not canon with Baum’s Oz stories.

      Just a heads up :)

  8. Nicolas Cage could appear in the sequel.. as the Scarecrow

  9. It may not technically be a prequel,
    But it takes place in OZ before the film so its kind of splitting hairs.

  10. I couldn’t get past the first paragraph — I realize John Carter wasn’t a box office bonanza, but how can Disney take a $200 million+ charge on a movie that made almost $283 million? On the one hand, reviewers seem to count only American grosses if they don’t like a movie, but count worldwide if they do.
    This is very confusing to me, and in my opinion sounds like a rotten deal for what I thought was a great movie – John Carter.

    • The production budget was more like 250MM for ‘John Carter’ and with a world wide gross of only 283MM it comes up short for a box office success. A standard multiplier is x3 for a film as huge and expensive as these are so ‘John Carter’ would’ve had to gross more like 750MM worldwide to be worthy of the moniker of a successful blockbuster film. Money drives the business and Hollywood accounting is notorious. High grossing films are often saddled with covering the losses of other films that bomb at the box office. This being the case ‘John Carter’ didn’t do for the studio what it was expected to do an so it’s not deemed successful monetarily. I too feel for the production of ‘John Carter,’ I enjoyed the movie. It got a bad deal in the marketplace but it’s also fair to say it was mis-marketed by Disney to some extent. As they say though that’s showbiz…

    • John Carter was a terrific move marketed badly.

      • no it wasnt-it was pretty awful

  11. Get Tim Burton. Raimi is such a hack now.

    • No. Because then Johnny Depp is going to wedge his way into a major role and everything is going to be all creepy looking.

      • Johnny Depp would at least be a better Oz than Franco was….

        • I thought Franco was great.

          • raise the bar-Franco was pretty terrible

    • Tim burton sucks.

  12. Please don’t have Tim Burton direct.

    The guy does great visuals but cannot direct a film.

    • Eh…I wouldn’t go that far. I’d say Oz is not something he could pull off, but he can still direct very well…once in a while

  13. Saw this movie yesterday. It was a very good film and I was suprisingly impressed. I couldn’t find the chins cameo though. Dosen’t Bruce always have one in a Rami film?

    He should at least consider , directing the next one. I don’t think it’ll have that flair if he dosen’t come back.

    • Bruce was the guard getting hit by that munchkin guy a bunch of times.

  14. Even though I like James Franco as an actor, I also didn’t think he fit for the lead role. I don’t think this may be a popular opinion, but the more I saw/heard Zach Braff in the film, I thought he could have been better suited for Oz.

  15. I thought it was okay not good. Actors just seemed to over do it.

  16. I so think they should you can’t leave the new generation not knowing Dorthy. Just wouldn’t be right. I am one that love’s the oldies but also love the remake of movies. I grew up wanting to follow the yellow brick road and would love my kids to as well. I have tried to make them watch the original one but they just can’t get into it like the new version. As well I would love to see what you guys come up with. So please do didn’t go see the first in the theater but would take them for the next if their is one.