>James Franco latest contender to play Wizard of Oz

>Will the real Wizard of Oz please stand up? The Hollywood Reporter claims James Franco is in early talks with Disney to play the Wizard in Sam Raimi’s upcoming Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz: The Great and Powerful.

The Wizard has been a hard character to cast. First up was Robert Downey Jr. who then passed the baton to Johnny Depp, who has since turned down the role opening the gate to Hollywood golden boy James Franco.

Franco has really proven himself around Tinsel Town of late; with his nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role at this year’s Academy Awards for 127 Hours, to co-hosting the awards themselves, along with his varied work in television, film and soon to be stage, no one should second guess Franco’s ability to give us a magical interpretation of the ambitious and naive illusionist who lands in Oz and becomes a much feared and respected Wizard.

If he lands the role, it will mark his return to working with director Sam Raimi. The two haven’t worked together since Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy for Sony.

We shouldn’t get too ahead of ourselves however; with the film’s track record of potential male leads, we won’t get too excited until Franco is officially cast.

Discuss: Can you see Franco as the enigmatic Wizard?

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