Raimi Previews Oz The Great & Powerful

Concept art and more shown off at D23

When you've only just started shooting on your latest film, rustling up something interesting to show people can be a daunting challenge. But it was one that Sami Raimi was willing to tackle for a presentation of Oz The Great And Powerful at this weekend’s D23 Expo.

Since he’s knee-deep in production in Detroit, Raimi could only send a video message to the Disney convention from the set of Oz The Great And Powerful. But he also provided an early glimpse of what the film might look like, with concept art and rough footage from the first day’s shooting interspersed with sound bites from the cast, including James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff and Rachel Weisz.

As Raimi mentioned in the video, the aim for the film is to take the descriptions of Oz used by L Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and bring them to life with all the technological tricks of modern filmmaking. So we were treated to lush imagery of rolling hills, mountains that resembled elephant heads and scary forests, all boasting the iconic yellow brick road.

And while very little is actually in the can, there was a quick glimpse of Franco plying his trade as a dodgy carnival magician, a man who has an eye for the ladies. “He’s bit of a con, a bit of a Lothario and a seducer,” Franco explains in the video. “When he gets to Oz, it's a chance to redeem himself."

One quick shot of Franco preparing to step into a storm with the words “Let’s go make some magic” wrapped things up. Naturally, it’s far too early to tell what the final product will look like, or how effective it will be, but there certainly seemed to be a lot of ambition on display…