If you’re not going to let Sam Raimi direct another Spider-Man movie, then he may pack up and go to the merry old land of Oz. Vulture reports that Disney has offered Raimi the director’s chair for Oz, The Great and Powerful. Written by Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards) and former Disney head Joe Roth, the studio wants to begin filming this year. In this version of the The Wizard of Oz story, 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. GuillermoDel Toro, Adam Shankman, and Timur Bekmambetov are also reportedly interested in directing. Sam Mendes was previously considering the project with Robert Downey Jr. circling the role of the wizard. However, Mendes decided to pursue a staged musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, and Bond 23 whenever it emerges from the MGM meltdown. No word if Downey is still involved.
But would Raimi want the job? Hit the jump for what else has his interest and the other Wizard of Oz projects going on.
Raimi is already attached to make a film based on World of Warcraft, one of the most popular video games of all-time. Also, there’s already four separate Wizard of Oz projects in development at different studios: Surrender Dorothy (with Drew Barrymore rumored to direct), Oz (written by Shrek Forever After scribe Darren Lemke) , an untitled, darker Wizard of Oz project (written by History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson with Spawn creator Todd MacFarlane producing), and an adaptation of the musical Wicked.
Does Raimi really want to get into all of that or does he want a bonafide blockbuster with a built-in audience that, as of October 2008, numbered over 11.5 million? Between the two, I’d choose the one with the non-Lollipop-related guild.