Having gotten all nostalgic about Spider-Man in the last few days (review of The Amazing Spider-Man and 10 years on: An ode to the original Spider-Man trilogy), you may not be wondering just where Sam Raimi went “apres Spidey”.
Aside from 2009’s wonderful deranged Drag Me to Hell, he hasn’t directed anything since the final part of the web-slinging trilogy in 2007. While he and long-time producing partner Robert Tapert have spent some of this down-time producing Starz’ unfairly-maligned Spartacus series, most of Raimi’s time and energy is now focused on directing Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful.
The film comes out next March and, like the seminal 1939 The Wizard of Oz, is adapted from L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. It is intended as a prequel of sorts to that film and stars James Franco as the wizard and Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz as the three witches. Zach Braff also co-stars. The original novel is now in the public domain and can be read online for free if you are so inclined, check out the US Library of Congress’ viewer here.
In the mean-time check out the first official poster which was churned out by the Disney marketing team yesterday. It’s a ballsy move not to include Franco or Kunis on it, but I’m sure in nine months we’ll be sick to the teeth of seeing them. For now this classic illustration does a great job of adding a little class to proceedings.
“Oz The Great and Powerful” 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. (official synopsis, via collider.com)