MGM's Wizard Of Oz was a famously fraught production, burning through directors, turning over screenwriters and finding its munchkins going rogue in the bars and speakeasies of 1930s Los Angeles. By all accounts, Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great And Powerful has been a much more serene visit to L. Frank Baum's magic kingdom, turning to CG and 3D to reimagine a Technicolor world that becomes home to its newest wizard. Or kinda wizard.
"Everyone thinks he's the wizard," James Franco tells USA Today of his charlatan magician-turned-wizard, Oscar Diggs. "He has to maintain this façade of being a fantastical wizard to save his hide."
This intriguing new picture takes us a little further into the story. The Kansas huckster has found his way to Oz, been shanghaied into taking the mantle of Emerald City's top dog, but discovered that, alas, the job title comes a task: to defeat the Wicked Witch. Here, en route to the Dark Forest to fulfill it, he encounters one of the shattered denizens of Chinatown, China Girl, who he's managed to repair.
Explains Raimi: "He's telling her she has to go back to the Emerald City, where she'll be well taken care of, but she won't have any of it. He's going to learn by the end of this scene that he's not the only huckster in the bunch."
With its trailer promising candy for the corneas, Oz: The Great And Powerful is out in 3D on March 8, 2013.