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‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ Tips Hat To ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ With Black & White Opening
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The Wizard of Oz

You might have wondered what similarities director Sam Raimi‘s upcoming prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful would share with The Wizard of Oz, the 1939 classic which preceded it.

Talking to TeenSpot, one of the many stars of the film, Joey King (Ramona and Beezus), shared some details on the production, her character, and some of the things we can expect to see.

The twelve-year-old actress talked about how she’s playing Wheelchair Girl/China Girl in the movie (Wheelchair Girl in Kansas and China Girl in Oz, who the Wizard takes in as an adopted child), and how exciting it is to be on such a big budget movie and to actually walk on the Yellow Brick Road.

But it was another detail that’s really worth note. King revealed that the movie will have something of a homage to the 1939 film where the beginning will be entirely in black and white and that only when they enter the wonderful lands of Oz will everything be in full color.

This is obviously a risky move because—even though the movie is a prequel, telling the story of the Wizard and how he got to Oz—it directly associates itself with the classic ’39 film, which is considered by many to be sacred. Not to mention the fact that the scene where Dorothy (Judy Garland) first opens that door to Oz and the movie is suddenly bursting with vibrant colors moviegoers had never seen on the screen before was a game-changer in cinematic history. To replicate it in a time where black and white is only done by choice and not because it’s the only option might be considered detrimental to the original.

All of that said, to jump from intentional black and white to the incredible colors and extreme levels of high-definition quality we can now accomplish in our movies might just make this something special to experience all over again.

Here’s a more detailed synopsis for Oz: The Great and Powerful. The movie will hit theaters on March 8, 2013:

Walt Disney Pictures’ fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. 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.

What do you think of the plan to open in black and white and transition to color?

[Source: TeenSpot via ComicBookMovie]


  1. I agree, the opening in black and white seems like a bad idea.  Really, do people need to be hit over the head in order to get the nostalgia?  This movie should try to gain merit on its own, instead of using a cheap gimmick to ride on the coattails of the classic movie.  It shows a lack of confidence, which I guess shouldn’t be too surprising, as Hollywood would doesn’t want to do anything too risky, i.e. original, these days.  I had just hoped that the world of OZ is so bizarre that even for modern Hollywood, this would be something to see.  For example, are they going to be using tons of midgets in this?  And Sam Raimi is a stylish director… I’d hope to at least see OZ done with glorious modern effects  But, casting Mila Kunis as the wicked witch?  I just can’t get past that voice…. (“Damn Jackie, when did you get so green and ugly!?”)

    Comment by Jared Bond — January 16, 2012 @ 2:34 am

  2. I would feel better if they did it correctly and did it in sepia as it should be and not Black and White. To be honest this may really help. We are very spoiled as we can have pretty much anything created before our eyes now. If Sam can make the proper “door open scene” and give us enough time to get lost in the lack of color and unleash the world of OZ as it can be today he may just be on to something

    Comment by Joe Sicari — January 20, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

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