Even though Sam Raimi began shooting his fantasy prequel Oz the Great and Powerful last week, it took a little while to get confirmation about a familiar face from the Raimi-verse popping up in the film.
Meanwhile, Ben Affleck is gearing up to begin production on his latest starring/directing vehicle, Argo, which has now added another worthwhile thespian to its ever-growing cast.
On the Oz front: Raimi's BFF Bruce Campbell has confirmed (via Twitter) that he will be popping up in the director's Wizard of Oz spinoff, describing his role as "PIVOTAL" - even though Raimi has yet to tell him what it is. Regardless, an appearance by Campbell is always welcome news to his fans.
Oz the Great and Powerful will actually reunite several veterans of past Raimi pics, including Campbell, who was absent from the director's last release, Drag Me to Hell; James Franco, who previously collaborated with the filmmaker on his Spider-Man trilogy; and composer Danny Elfman, who had a public fallout with Raimi after Spider-Man 2, but is back on good working terms with the quirky auteur yet again.
We've already pointed out that there are multiple parallels between Raimi's Oz prequel and Tim Burton's box office smash "re-imagining" of Alice in Wonderland. So, rather than continuing to beat that dead horse, it's best to just wait until some official images from the film - or a teaser trailer - is released, before going on about whether or not this looks like a worthwhile fantasy flick.
Ben Affleck has already assembled a motley crew to appear in his "inspired by real events" thriller, Argo - including himself, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, and Bryan Cranston. According to Variety, he's added yet another solid actor to the cast, in the form of Scoot McNairy.
McNairy popped up on a number of people's radar after he appeared in Gareth Edward's low-budget sci-fi film Monsters - not to mention, his multiple episode stint as Noel Liftin on Bones. In addition to Argo, McNairy will also be showing up in Andrew Domink's upcoming crime thriller Cogan's Trade, as well as a handful of smaller titles due to hit theaters over the next year.
Argo is based on the 2007 Wired magazine article "How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran" and promises to be an intelligent and engaging thriller that chronicles the operation to recover U.S. diplomats taken hostage in Iran, circa 1979. After delivering two solid dramatic thrillers in the form of Gone Baby Gone and The Town, there's all the more reason to think Affleck can go 3-for-3 as director. Here's hoping for the best.
Argo is slated to begin production before the year is out, with a possible late 2012 release in mind. We'll let you know when an official release date has been set.
Oz the Great and Powerful is scheduled to arrive in U.S. theaters on March 8th, 2013.
Source: Bruce Campbell, Variety