Zach Braff is in final talks to join Oz: The Great and Powerful, Disney’s re-imagining of/prequel to The Wizard of Oz. James Franco stars as “a charismatic circus magician who is treated as a powerful wizard after his balloon blows off course into Oz and the townsfolk want him to eradicate a Wicked Witch and bring peace.” According to Deadline, Braff will play Frank, the wizard’s loyal but under-appreciated assistant. Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz play three witches. The 3D production begins begin this July in Michigan under the direction of Sam Raimi. Oz: The Great and Powerful is scheduled for release on March 8, 2013.
The Scrubs fans out there may remember Braff directed “My Way Home,” the series’ 100th episode and homage to The Wizard of Oz. Watch a clip from the episode after the break.
Here’s the tentative plot outline:
The Wizard — a snake-oil salesman posing as a magician — enters Oz via a hot-air balloon, which he uses to escape an angry husband who has found out that Oz slept with his wife. There, Oz — a fast-talking huckster who wears a velveteen frock coat — falls in love with Glinda (the Good Witch), and the two combine forces to fight the evil witches Evanora and Theodora. Theodora starts out as a good witch, but after Oz jilts her sexual advances, Evanora — the truly evil witch — convinces Theodora to become an evil witch with her and help her to rule all of Oz.
Braff will next be seen in The High Cost of Living. The drama premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival; no release date is set.