There are innumerable prequels and sequels to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in book, film, and musical form, but only a handful are actually based on the works of the original author L. Frank Baum. The latest film adaptation of Baum’s original novel is from the director of the Spider-Man trilogy (the first one) Sam Raimi with Oz: The Great and Powerful. Produced by Disney, the film traces The Wizard’s path to Oz from the tornado in Kansas to the confrontation with the Wicked Witch. James Franco plays Oz, the Wizard with a supporting cast that includes Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, and more.
The Oz: The Great and Powerful trailer appeared online during Comic-Con coverage to coincide with the Disney panel. The CGI-heavy footage looks impressive, but the movie also appears to be set in a rather familiar universe. I don’t mean the magnificent production design from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (or the 1910 silent film version), but a more recent Disney effort – Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The fantastical foliage and heavy use of computer generated images to re-create nature immediately brought me back to the dismal 2009 film that made the studio so much money.
Sam Raimi is much different director than Tim Burton (as exhibited in their differing superhero films) and I am excited to see Raimi working with a big budget again. I just hope that his vision of Oz is really his vision and not the studio’s.
Check out the official trailer for the film below and let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Oz: The Great and Powerful will be in theatres on March 8, 2013.