It looks like Sam Raimi might have locked in both a Wizard and a witch for his planned next project, Disney’s Oz, The Great and Powerful. Vulture’s chattering flying monkeys tell the site that Mila Kunis is now in talks to star as Theodorah, the woman who ends up as the Wicked Witch of the West in Frank L Baum’s story.
And, if what they’re hearing pans out, it also points to James Franco, who was linked to the lead role earlier this month, switching his status from “interested” to “count me in”.
None of this, of course, is anywhere near official yet, and even if they’re happening, negotiations could still break down. But it’s certainly an interesting prospect: David Lindsay-Abaire’s rewrite of the script finds the central figure as an unscrupulous showman on the run from an angry husband after romancing the man’s wife. Escaping in a hot air balloon, he’s swept away to the magical land of Oz, where he meets and falls for Glinda, the future Good Witch of the North and battles Evanorah, who is destined to first become the Wicked Witch of the East and then have a nasty accident with a falling Kansas farmhouse.
And if it does pan out, it means that Akira director Albert Hughes, who worked with Kunis on The Book of Eli and had hoped to lure her into one of the key roles on the Manga remake, will have to look elsewhere.
Oh, and one last detail from the Oz report – it’ll apparently be shooting this July, so we have to assume Franco has carved out some time in his busy schedule.