Downey & Mendes Off To See The Wizard?

Pair circling Wizard of Oz prequel

Downey & Mendes Off To See The Wizard?

by Owen Williams |
Published on

That depressing news about Bond 23 means a few people now have spaces in their diaries. Not least among them is Sam Mendes, but he may not be idle for long. Production Weekly are calling him the "front-runner" to direct Oz the Great and Powerful. Robert Downey Jr is also apparently musing on whether to join the project as Oz himself (a whizz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was).

The film is one of approximately 27 Oz projects currently bubbling away in Hollywood, but suddenly looks a bit nearer to fruition than the Todd McFarlane (and/or Josh Olson) one, the John Boorman one, the New Line one, or Wicked. Previously known as the slightly pithier Brick, Oz the Great and Powerful is an origin story, told from the wizard's point of view. It details how, as a young man, the Wiz arrived in Oz as part of a travelling circus, and how he became the hapless charlatan behind a curtain that we know and love.

Disney is the studio that's getting behind this one, keen to find their next Alice in Wonderland. Joe Roth (Alice, Hellboy) is producing, and Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards, Romeo Must Die) has written the screenplay. Nothing there to exactly set the world alight, but the meticulous Mendes and the improv-happy Downey Jr are a curious combination which could make for interesting results. We're keeping optimistic. After all, sometimes the dreams that you dream really do come true.

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