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Filming begins on Disney’s Oz movie

While a recent court ruling calls into question if Disney really has the rights to make this film, principle photography, as they say, has begun on “Oz, The Great And Powerful.” Based on the L. Frank Baum novel, the Sam Raimi directed film will feature James Franco as the title character. Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams make up a trio of witches who pursue Franco’s Wizard of Oz to see if he’s the great wizard they’ve been hoping for. Zach Banff play’s the magicians assistant.

The movie is a pre-quel to the famous film and tells the story of how Kansas circus magician Oscar Diggs, Franco’s character, came to the land of Oz. Almost all of the production is taking place on a 200,000 square foot sound stage in Michigan, which was a GM truck plant in its former life. It sounds like there will be a lot of CGI involved too.

Here’s the official synopsis for Oz The Great and Powerful:

“Oz The Great and Powerful” 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.

The film is scheduled for a March 2013 release, so don’t get too excited, yet.

(via the Hollywood Reporter)

11 thoughts on “Filming begins on Disney’s Oz movie”

  1. I wonder how this story will hold up against the other more famous pre-quel “Wicked” and while that story focuses more on the baack story of the witches, it can become tough to sell two different versions of an origins story. Wicked was a successful book and broadway show. I am surprised it itself has not yet been made into a big screen movie. Sounds like this maybe done in the style of Alice in Wonderland with all the GCI and 3D no doubt.

  2. Michael-

    Wicked the Musical is owned by NBCUniversal and they have been trying to develop it into a movie for a while. The book it was based on is being developed for a non-musical mini-series for ABC.

    1. I’ve read Wicked and the sequels and have never been able to figure out how they made what appears to be a bright, cheery musical from the first book. Perhaps the songs and other things I’ve experienced misrepresent the stage musical, so I’d have to see the show to see how the book translated into a musical. A mini-series, however, makes a lot more sense to me. Or even a Harry Potter-like series of dark movies would work.

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  10. Tim, the musical and the book have little relation to one another. The musical is wonderful. The book was munchkin porn and politics. I LOVE Oz and was saddened by what the book, Wicked, turned it into.

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