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.
Deadline is reporting that, while not yet locked in, the odds that Robert Downey Jr. will appear in Oz: The Great and Powerful are “looking good.” Though he turned down several initial offers to play a young Oz, it is believed that he has warmed to the role given Raimi’s attachment.
As for Raimi and Oz re-writer David Lindsay-Abaire, this isn’t the first time the latter has been brought in to touch up a Raimi-directed script. He also worked closely with Raimi on the James Vanderbilt script that would have been Spider-Man 4. That in mind, we can only hope that we won’t be hearing of an Oz: The Great and Powerful reboot before the original Raimi picture ever gets made.
Finally, as you may already be aware, Raimi is also attached to direct two other films which, prior to today’s news, could have been his “next” film. First, he will be directing an adaptation of the popular computer game World of Warcraft (which he seemed very excited to discuss with Steve at this year’s Saturn Awards). Additionally, he will also helm an adaptation of the Radical graphic novel Earp: Saints for Sinners. That project is “set in a future where he (Earp) takes on outlaws in a ravaged society where the only boomtown left is Las Vegas.” There is no word as to which will come next for Raimi after Oz is completed.