Oz: The Great & Powerful Directing Gig Offered to Sam Raimi
Update: I'm re-posting this news again today as Deadline has confirmed that Sam Raimi has indeed been fully signed and hired to direct Oz: The Great and Powerful. Raimi is moving forward and Disney hopes "that this pic will be a global hit like the billion-dollar-grossing Alice In Wonderland," but the script is being rewritten first before they take more steps forward with the project. Robert Downey Jr, who is supposed to play the Wizard in this origin story, "isn't [fully] set yet" but they're developing it for him. "The movie will happen," Deadline says, so get ready for a Raimi version of Oz in the next few years! Original story follows.
Robert Downey Jr. working with Sam Raimi? Oh please let it happen! Vulture is reporting that Sam Raimi has been offered the director's chair on the upcoming Disney project Oz: The Great and Powerful. This is the Wizard of Oz prequel that tells the origin story of the Wizard based on pieces from several of L. Frank Baum's "Oz" books as well as his original ideas. It originally had Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Away We Go) attached as director, with Robert Downey Jr. circling the role of the Wizard, when it was announced in April. We also learned last week that Mendes had passed, which is why the offer is now out to Raimi instead.
The screenplay for Oz: The Great and Powerful is written by Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards, Into the Blue 2: The Reef). Apparently Raimi "received the official offer earlier this morning," but it's too early to tell if he's accepted or not, so there's always the chance he could pass as well. I don't like this skeptical kind of news, but I want this to happen just because I'd love to see Raimi tackle this story, he would be perfect for it, and would be able to put his unique touch on it as well. We're not exactly sure if Downey is still attached as the Wizard, but that would make things even better if he was. We'll let you know if Raimi accepts or not!