Last we heard, Johnny Depp was in line to replace Robert Downey Jr. as the Wizard in director Sam Raimi‘s upcoming new take on the tale of The Wizard of Oz, being called Oz, The Great and Powerful.
Not long after that, Depp also removed himself from the project, making it one of those annoying situations where every name you could think of was likely to become attached. Instead, the next to be offered the role was James Franco, and at the moment this looks to be a done deal. As good as Franco is, it is still a step down from Depp, who was himself a step down from Downey Jr., who seemed to be the perfect fit as the man who finds himself swept away to the magical lands of Oz, where he solidifies himself as an all-powerful wizard.
As it turns out, it took a little bit of sway in the form of another casting to lock up Franco’s services. Walt Disney was able to reach out to Black Swan star Mila Kunis and lure her away from the live-action Akira remake to play their Wicked Witch of the West. It was this move that gave Franco the confidence to commit to the film as well — either that or he really likes him some Mila Kunis. And who could blame him.
Things are steadily moving forward with Oz, The Great and Powerful now that two of the more crucial roles are filled. It should be interesting to see who’s signed for the rest of the roles by the time filming is scheduled to begin, in July of this year.