It’s been a topic of discussion since this summer. Now, we finally have confirmation that Sam Raimi’s next stint in the director’s chair will come via Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful. Raimi, who has two other projects on his table in addition to Oz, committed to the Disney project with production set to begin next year on the 3D film. In addition to Raimi’s commitment, Disney has also brought David Lindsay-Abaire on board to perform re-writes on the Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards) script. Lindsay-Abaire recently adapted his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole for the silver screen. That film stars Nicole Kidman and was picked up by Lionsgate at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.
For more on Robert Downey Jr.’s involvement with Oz, Raimi and Lindsay-Abaire’s previous collaboration, and Raimi’s “other two” projects, hit the jump.
Last week, we reported that Disney had offered Sam Raimi the director’s chair for Oz, The Great and Powerful. Today, Deadline reports that he’s taken it. Furthermore, they report that Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to star as the wayward circus wrangler who would become the Wizard of Oz. Disney is hoping that they can land another billion-dollar-hit as they did this year with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Oh, and Oz is going to be 3D (the movie we’re talking about right now, not the HBO prison drama, although that would be interesting/terrifying).
Hit the jump for more on Raimi and Downey’s schedules.
Director Sam Mendes may direct Oz The Great and Powerful with Robert Downey Jr. in talks to play the Wizard. Production Weekly tweets that the two are circling the project written by Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards). According to a 24 Frames article last month [via Pajiba's Twitter], the project (originally titled Brick), is, “based on pieces from several other L. Frank Baum “Oz” books as well as his original ideas. In this version, the wizard is a charlatan who’s part of a traveling circus but goes on a similar odyssey as Dorothy when he mysteriously lands in Oz. This Wizard of Oz project is set up at Disney and is competing against two projects at Warner Bros. (Oz, and a second project about Dorthy’s granddaughter who returns to Oz to fight evil) and Universal’s adaptation of the musical Wicked.
Mendes now has free time after Bond 23 was put on ice, although he may go back to do an adaptation of the comic book Preacher. As for Downey, he’s set for Sherlock Holmes 2 and may star in Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi film Gravity.
I had a friend who had done some jail time. I was always very curious about this because I knew that it would be hugely unlikely I would ever see the inside of a cell (knock on wood). He told that one of the most beloved movies by prisoners was Wizard of Oz. This made all the sense in the world. Wizard of Oz is the ultimate escapist fantasy, which betrays the film’s original message. My thoughts after the jump.
Just in time for the seventieth anniversary of MGM’s “The Wizard of Oz” comes news that a sequel is in the works… or rather, another sequel. Producers have been trying for years to modernize the classic film, including a rumored 2002 version that would have starred Drew Barrymore. So who’s on tap to try on those ruby slippers this time? Young Dakota Fanning, who else? Hit the jump for details.