Sam Raimi fans are smarting a bit right now, ever since Sony announced that The Lizard is the villain in the Spider-Man reboot, a plan Raimi himself had for the now-defunct Spider-Man 4 before the studio axed his idea (and effectively ended his involvement with the franchise).
Not to be outdone by Sony's webslinger news, Pajiba claims to have snagged some choice details about Raimi's next project, Disney's Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful. Although, the details sound a bit racy for your average Disney project.
According to the website, Mitchell Kapner's (The Whole Nine Yards) script for Oz the Great and Powerful will feature the story points quoted below. Remember, what you are about to read is Pajiba's take on the film, and should not be in any way confused with an official synopsis:
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...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....
I put that snippet of Pajiba's assessment in quotes because there is one major problem I have with it: it seems a bit racy for a Disney film.
Now, don't get me wrong: by having Robert Downey Jr. playing the lead role of The Wizard, and Sam Raimi at the helm, I fully expect Oz the Great and Powerful to be full of mischievous hijinks and even a few freaky freakout moments (a Raimi signature). I just don't buy that Disney would put a spin on this film that would lead potential audiences to view it as "Oz porn" (a direct quote from Pajiba).
What I do expect is that The Wizard in this Oz tale (especially if it's RDJ) will be showcased as a loveable scamp who finds himself caught in the middle of a grudge match between three powerful women (the witches). The film would provide a good deal of action and magic f/x to make Oz a family-friendly blockbuster a la The Sorcerer's Apprentice (because that's how you make the box office big bucks).
There would certainly be some sly, winking adult humor worked into the script, but Pajiba's assertion that "there's room" for RDJ to have multiple sex scenes? S&M style witches? An R-rating? I'm not buying any of it until Disney sends out a press release saying that they're about to take The Wizard of Oz down a yellow [rhymes with brick] road. So for now, file this one under RUMOR.
Oz the Great and Powerful is slated to start filming next summer, with an expected release date in either late 2012 or 2013.