From director Sam Raimi, Oz the Great and Powerful imagines the origins of the wizard that was first brought to life in author L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard of Oz, in a fantastical adventure that utilizes 3D to enhance what is truly an awe-inspiring movie-going experience. When small-time circus magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is unexpectedly carried from Kansas to the vibrantly beautiful Land of Oz in a tornado, he soon meets three witches – Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams) – who are unsure about whether he truly is the great wizard that they’ve been expecting. In one of the biggest tales of fake it ‘til you make it, Oscar must use his magical skill and a little ingenuity to help good triumph over evil.
At the film’s press day, Collider got the opportunity to speak with producer Joe Roth during both the press conference and a 1-on-1 interview about how this project came about, his prior experience with the original The Wizard of Oz film, how involved he was in shaping which Baum tales they would blend together to tell this origin story, how important it was to center the film around a flawed hero, why Sam Raimi was the right director, assembling this talented cast, and the most challenging aspects of such a big production. He also talked about the high-risk and high-reward involved in taking on such iconic characters (he’s done it with Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Snow White), their spin on the Sleeping Beauty story for Maleficent and how crucial the casting of Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning was, how they’re approaching the Alice in Wonderland sequel, and that he hopes to go into production on a very low-budget movie based on the book Heaven is for Real in the summer. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Randall Wallace (Secretariat) is in talks to develop the book Heaven Is for Real as a directing vehicle. The novel is co-written by Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo, and tells of how his four-year-old son had slipped into unconsciousness during emergency surgery, and when he awoke, he said he had “met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each.” He also described “the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how ‘reaaally big’ God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit ‘shoots down power’ from heaven to help us.” Personally, I don’t see how this could possibly be a complete fabrication designed to exploit a four-year-old’s near-death experience to push a Christian agenda.
Hit the jump for more.