Raimi to direct Wizard of Oz prequel – starring Downey Jr?

Sam Raimi has signed on to direct a 3D prequel to The Wizard of Oz for Disney entitled Oz: The Great and Powerful. The studio are hoping to ensnare Robert Downey Jr. for the titular role.

Rumours of Raimi directing the feature emerged late last week and were confirmed today by Nikke Finke at Deadline. Oz will be Raimi’s follow-up to 2009’s horror-satire Drag Me To Hell, and his first film since abandoning (or being booted off) the doomed Spider-Man 4.

The script was written by Mitchell Kapner. Originally called Brick, the film focuses on The Wizard of Oz before he came to be “The Wizard of Oz”, starting as a circus wrangler who is mysteriously transported to the land of Oz and mistaken for a know-it-all.

Downey Jr. seems like a perfect fit for the role. Perhaps the only thing standing in the way of him signing immediately is his busy schedule (he is already locked in to The Avengers, Sherlock Holmes 2 and Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity).

The project is being produced by Joe Roth, who was also behind Disney’s billion-dollar grossing Alice in Wonderland (a similar property that they entrusted to an offbeat director). No doubt they are hoping Oz achieves the same financial success.

Discuss: Are the combined talents of Downey and Raimi enough to make a Wizard of Oz prequel sound like a reasonable idea?

3 Responses to “Raimi to direct Wizard of Oz prequel – starring Downey Jr?”

  1. My personal oppinion is leave the wonderful Wizard of Oz alone. It is a treasure. It is one of my childhood favorites, and even my 4 year old loves it – she even had a Wizard of Oz themed birthday party last year (she requested it). Please don't spoil the magic of Wizard of Oz! Why? because, because, because, because beee-cause it is the Wonderful Wizard of Oz!Kate

  2. I totally agree with 'Anonymous'…The Wizard of Oz is a spectacularly Fabulous movie and it's my all time favourite movie and always will be! You can't add to what is already perfect. I understand it's a prequel but it won't work…would never match the movie. Why? Because, because, because, because, beeeee-cause it is the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

  3. If you want a prequel why not just use Wicked? Regardless of whether you choose to adapt the book or the musical, at least you know you have a good script.

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