Release Date: March 8
Director: Sam Raimi
Rating: Not Yet Rated
The intense, quirky, sometimes gruesome talents of director, Sam Raimi get put to a different kind of test in this re-imagined prequel to The Wizard of Oz. We will soon get to see how a struggling, ambitious, but shady circus magician becomes the man behind the curtain in The Emerald City.
What We Know:
Oscar Diggs (James Franco) truly believes that he's destined for great things. Unfortunately, his path towards this grand benevolence might be a bit rocky, seeing as this sleight-of-hand Svengali hasn't always used his skills for genuine purposes. However, his true worth would soon be tested when a whirlwind of fate intervenes, whisking his hot air balloon out of dust-bowl Kansas and into the Land of Oz.
He would find himself in a land of magic, munchkins, and mouthy monkeys. (Either that, or he smoked way too much of his Pineapple Express stash.) The hopeful huckster immediately began to see dollar signs from the potential fortune he stood to make from this amazing discovery. That, however, would soon be halted when its diverse denizens begin to see his arrival as the fulfillment of a prophecy heralding the arrival of a great wizard who will save their sieged state.
Now, his opportunity for true greatness has been set upon him. With the help of some off-the-wall companions and three beautiful witches, Glinda (Michelle Williams,) Theodora (Mila Kunis,) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz,) he'll need to dig deep into his sleazy set of skills to battle a wicked witch and her dark armies.
What We Expect:
Conjuring prequel stories to the magical mythos originating from L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel is hardly a new practice, even with the hugely-successful musical, Wicked. However, much like the story that we all know of Dorothy, this film also appears to be made up of characters who endeavor to find qualities for themselves that they actually already possessed.
However, unlike Dorothy, Oscar's path towards becoming "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" seems to be one of redemption. He'll probably be tempted down a dark path that, ultimately we know two out of three of his witch companions will take. It is that friend/enemy dynamic that could make this a more character-developed version of any Oz story than we've ever seen.
The vast, sprawling visuals from this update of the land of Oz is definitely eye candy in its own right. We can expect Disney to tout the film's 3D capabilities heavily, including with their own "Disney Digital 3-D" format. It will be interesting to see how many people opt for those 3D specs after the high framerate 3D visuals of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey sharply divided audiences.
For more info on Oz: The Great and Powerful check out its official site.
Be sure to check out more of G4's 2013 movie previews throughout the month of January.