Other than the Broadway musical Wicked and the 1970s Michael Jackson/Diana Ross cult classic The Wiz, there haven’t been many successful takes on the 1939 classic Wizard of Oz. But next year, that’s going to change in a big way with the release of OZ: The Great and Powerful. Based on L. Frank Baum’s novel, and directed by Sam Raimi, the film is a prequel of sorts, as it takes place prior to the events in the original Wizard of Oz. The trailer debuted at ComicCon, and looks nothing short of spectacular:
Let’s start with the obvious: the killer cast. James Franco stars as Oz, and he looks more 127 Hours than General Hospital guest star here. Franco has been aces since Freaks and Geeks, and with the stellar trio of ladies that make up his supporting cast, this movie hit the jackpot in terms of talent.
The incapable-of-a-bad-performance Michelle Williams plays Glinda the Good Witch of the South, and one of Oz’s potential love interests. Mila Kunis looks killer as Theodora, the legendary Wicked Witch of the West. Rachel Weisz plays the WW of the East, Evanora.
Raimi told USA Today the film is about how and why Oz came to the Emerald City. Raimi says the legendary wizard starts out as “a lothario and a cad,” which should and could pair Franco with witches from every direction! Raimi also said that the Emerald City serves as “a land of second chances” for Oz, who seems like a character bent on self-betterment.
Those expecting Dorothy, her adorable doglet Toto, or her triad of traveling companions will be disappointed—this is Oz’s story. There are some very cool similarities to the original film, though. We still get the black and white to color switcheroo when Oz floats into the city in his balloon, the twister is still a primary mode of transport, and Holy Bazinga, Batman, do those flying monkeys look a lot scarier this time around!
Also scary and dead on: the green talon of Kunis’ wicked witch that claws its way into the frame at trailer’s end, providing a perfect exclamation point. We’re assuming she and Oz don’t live happily ever after!
Danny Elfman (the fellow behind the theme song from The Simpsons) did the music for the film, and Zach Braff will narrate.
OZ: The Great and Powerful will be in theaters in March 2013.
Will you be there to see it?