One of the more high profile releases slated for 2013 is director Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful. The film has been flying a bit under the radar as of late, presumably due to the large amount of post-production effects work that’s necessary before any footage can be unveiled. The pic serves as a prequel to the classic fantasy The Wizard of Oz and stars James Franco as the eponymous wizard. The story centers on Franco’s small-time circus magician with dubious ethics who finds himself transported to Oz and drawn into a battle between the three witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams). We’re poised to see some footage next month at Comic-Con, but a promo image from the film has popped up online giving us our first look at Franco in character.
All aspiring wizards need top hats, so Franco is sporting some dapper headwear in the photo. The image isn’t much, but we can see the famous hot air balloon appearing in the background. Raimi’s nothing if not ambitious and I’m more than eager to see what he has in store for his first big-budget film outside of the Spider-Man series. Hit the jump to check out the image. Oz The Great and Powerful opens on March 8th, 2013.
Image via Bleeding Cool.
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.