Blu-ray Review: Oz The Great and Powerful
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Oz: The Great and Powerful
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital l Blu-ray/Digital l Blu-ray 3D/Digital l DVD/Digital
WRITERS: Mitchell Kapner, David Lindsay-Abaire
STARRING: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Zach Braff, Joey King, Bill Cobbs, Tony Cox, Bruce Campbell
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: June 11, 2013

When we first heard back in 2010 that a new movie based on the fantastical tale The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum titled Oz the Great and Powerful was on the way with American Beauty and Skyfall director Sam Mendes and Robert Downey Jr. possibly attached, there was certainly intrigue, but there was also a whole lot of question as to the sanity of Disney. 1939’s The Wizard of Oz is a timeless classic, beloved by millions, and despite it being a remake in its own right (see older versions here) the thought of someone even trying to do anything set in the land of Oz seemed absurd. But as I said over three years ago, Baum’s world and characters are eternally ripe for reinterpretation.

Eventually The Evil Dead and Spider-Man director Sam Raimi became attached, then stepped away from the planned World of Warcraft movie to take on Oz. Some complications arose, as is always expected. Downey Jr. was replaced by Johnny Depp for the lead, then James Franco was eventually cast to replace Depp. Obviously things settled down eventually and the movie got made, but does it recapture the same magic that the ’39 classic had, or does it swing and miss?

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Disney Moving Forward With ‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ Sequel
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The movie doesn’t even come out until tomorrow, but it would appear that Disney likes the way that Oz the Great and Powerful is tracking. The movie is expected to score around $80 million at the box office this weekend.

It’s being reported that the studio has already commissioned a sequel to the movie, with screenwriter Mitchell Kapner set to pen the script. Kapner co-wrote the first movie with David Lindsay-Abaire, and has also written The Whole Nine Yards, Romeo Must Die, and The Whole Ten Yards.

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The Wicked Witch Makes An Appearance In New ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ Poster
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A new poster has been released by Walt Disney for Oz: The Great and Powerful. This particular poster is of interest because it features none other than the Wicked Witch herself.

The movie is based on the works of L. Frank Baum, looking at some of his characters’ origins. It’s directed by The Evil Dead and Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi, and stars James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Zach Braff. It hits theaters on March 8, 2013.

Be sure to click on over to the other side to read a synopsis and check out the new poster from Oz: The Great and Powerful.

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SDCC 2012: ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ Panel
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Oz: The Great and Powerful is Sam Raimi‘s prequel to the 1939 adaptation of L. Frank Baum‘s classic book. It stars James Franco as the titular wizard, and Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams as the witches of Oz.

San Diego Comic-Con moderator Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist podcast) introduced director Sam Raimi with a montage of his past films, including Spider-Man, Drag Me To Hell, the Evil Dead series, and The Quick and the Dead, amongst others. Raimi described Comic-Con as “geek central,” and says he loves coming here. He said Oz is based on L. Frank Baum’s stories, but is really the story of the Wizard’s journey to Oz, and his relationship with Glinda, the Good Witch.

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Robert Downey Jr. Steps Away From ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Project; Johnny Depp To Step In?
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For as long as we’ve heard about The Walt Disney Company’s Oz, The Great and Powerful, the plan has been for Robert Downey Jr. to star as the Wizard.

The movie, being directed by Sam Raimi, is based on the classic L. Frank Baum tale, The Wizard of Oz, but more of a spinoff of sorts, telling the story of the Wizard before he became the Wizard — back when he was just a young illusionist. Eventually, after running from the circus he was working with, his hot air balloon is caught in a storm and whisked off to Oz, where he creates a new life and establishes himself as an all-powerful wizard.

As much as everyone wanted to see Downey Jr. in the role, however, it’s being reported that the actor has had to step away from the project for unknown reasons. Thankfully, an equally respected actor is in the beginning stages of discussions with Disney to take on the role, and that actor is none other than Johnny Depp, naturally.

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