Director Sam Raimi’s name was sullied somewhat when “Spider-Man 3″ turned out to be an unsatisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Since then, he’s slowly crawled his way back to respectability, with low-budget genre fare like “Drag Me To Hell”. Now, he’s ready for the big time again, with “Oz The Great And Powerful”. It’s a curious project, being a quasi-prequel to the 1939 classic “The Wizard Of Oz”. Based on this trailer, looks like Raimi has really let his imagination run riot, yet there’s a strange familiarity to the vision seen here. It comes across more like something Tim Burton would churn out. Still, I am looking forward to this. It does feature a great cast in the 3 Witches, plus James Franco in the title role. And I’m digging the opening, where the frame is presented in a 4:3 format and black & white, then once the action reaches the land of Oz, it turns to ful, glorious colour, and the frame opens up to widescreen. Gimmicky, but effective.
Here’s the official synopsis: “Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot–fame and fortune are his for the taking–that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity–and even a bit of wizardry–Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.”
“Oz The Great And Powerful” premieres 8th March 2013.