The only thing more curious than the announcement that Sam Raimi would be directing a new Wizard of Oz adventure was the film's casting.
Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz signed on as two wicked witches in Oz: The Great and Powerful (which serves as a prequel to the classic 1939 adventure). Michelle Williams is set to play Glinda the Good Witch, and James Franco replaced Robert Downey Jr. as Oscar Diggs -- a.k.a. Oz.
Little is known about the film, but at yesterday's CinemaCon Convention in Las Vegas, James opened up for the first time about what attracted him to the role. He said, "I get to play all sides of Americana – the idea of American heroes. It's like he's part cowboy, part weird magician, part con man, part romantic man. I really got to play everything from classic American cinema."
And to the naysayers out there wondering why we need another trip back to Oz, James understands your reservations -- but deems them unwarranted. "The important thing is to have a fresh take without breaking the bubble of what people know and love," he said. "When you have a comedic character that can revisit a familiar world, then you can have a fresh take on something familiar. And I think that's what the [writers] did.
From how James goes on to describe the film, it sounds like Raimi is getting a little more personal with his merry old trip to the land of Oz. "There's a tendency in these big huge movies to make the actions bigger, make the explosions bigger and make the violence more intense. In this world, you don't have to do that. It's strangely a movie for everyone that's still is kinda cool and I like being a part of something like that."
Oz: The Great and Powerful hits theaters on March 8, 2013
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