As a big fan of Sam Raimi and a lifelong admirer of The Wizard of Oz, arguably my favorite film as a young child, it pains me to say that I don’t see too much of either in Disney’s trailer for Oz, the Great and Powerful. Baaed off what I see here, I have a few questions. Where’s the heart? the brains? the courage?
If you told me in the mid 90′s that Sam Raimi, of Evil Dead and Darkman was going to make a film set in Oz, dealing with the backstory of the wizard himself, I would have prepared for something more akin to 1985′s Return to Oz, that trippy Fairuza Balk pic, than the cgi-heavy fx reel represented by this trailer.
Of course, Raimi since the 90′s has been a far more mainstream filmmaker than his early days, and he’s also not made a film since 2007′s Spiderman 3. I understand that Disney would no doubt call in Raimi, the big budget blockbuster helmer and not Raimi, the hyperactive, darkly-humored fantasist, but this one looks a bit too Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland for my taste.
Of note would be Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, and Mila Kunis playing the three different witches that James Franco’s Oscar will meet once he arrives in Oz. I’ll reserve judgment until release, but the more I see of these visually glossy, cartoonish fantasy flicks the more I realize we aren’t likely to see an Oz equal of the original film, or truly worthy of Baum’s (very different from the film) books. This mostly looks like Wicked lite.
Catch the synopsis, the trailer, the Comic Con press conference and a photo gallery from the film below:
Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot–fame and fortune are his for the taking–that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity–and even a bit of wizardry–Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
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