Walt Disney Pictures has announced that filming has begun at the new Raleigh Studios in Pontiac, Michigan of Oz: The Great and Powerful, Sam Raimi's imagining of the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved Wizard of Oz character. Even the great and powerful Oz initially had trouble getting a lead to stick with the production when Robert Downey, Jr. stepped away from the role before Johnny Depp did the same. But James Franco eventually emerged from behind the curtain to depict the young wizard.
The script, written by Mitchel Kapner, will attempt to tell the beginning of the Wizard of Oz's reluctant magic man who, as a rinky-dink circus magician with questionable ethics, is transported from dry dusty Kansas to the colorful Emerald City. Upon his arrival in the great land of Oz, Oscar thinks he has hit the jackpot of fame and fortune until he runs into three witches in the persons of Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams, who see him in a lesser light than everyone else. Once embroiled in the problems facing the Land of Oz, Oscar must attempt to utilize his magical powers to sort out who is good and who is evil before it is too late.
There's a lot riding on this film as it's the closest we've ever come to anyone touching one of Hollywood's most untouchable classics with a dirty remake hand. Disney certainly realizes this though and has brought out the big guns with the all-star cast that also includes Zach Braff. Joey King, and an Oscar-winning team of producers, writers, production designers and other behind-the-scenes hands such as composer Danny Elfman who will work with Raimi for the first time since their falling-out after Spider-Man 2. Will it work? We'll all find out on March 8th of 2013 when Oz: The Great and Powerful hits theaters.