James Franco Now in Early Talks for 'Oz: The Great and Powerful'

February 4, 2011
Source: Heat Vision

James Franco as Wizard of Oz

Sure he's now an Oscar nominated actor for his performance in 127 Hours, but with all the projects we hear about involving James Franco, I have to say that I wish he'd disappear from the news cycle for 127 hours. However, this new project isn't another indie that he's considering directing like the plethora of other films he might have lined up. This time around Heat Vision has Franco pegged to be in early talks for Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great & Powerful, an origin story about the infamous Wizard of Oz. Last month Robert Downey Jr. fell away from the movie and while Johnny Depp was next in line, he has since passed on the project.

Franco is no stranger to working with Raimi having played Spidey's friend/foe Harry Osborn in all three of the director's Spider-Man movies of past. If anything, it's his almost otherworldly/wacky performance in Spider-Man 3 that convinces me Fraco could pull this one off. The origin tale follows the Wizard back when he was a young illusionist with a grandiose attitude who is forced to flee a traveling circus. His life takes an interesting turn when his hot air balloon is swept up by a tornado to the land of Oz, then run by two magical wicked witches. It's not the only Wizard of Oz-related film in the works, but Warner Bros has been trying to push forward as much as possible recently, so they may make it out of the gates first, but only time will tell.

But of course, no deal is officially in place yet, and Franco could just as easily fall away from the project.  I'd really like to see this movie finally come together sooner than later, but so far it's been quite an uphill battle, and development has been moving more slowly recently. Do you guys like James Franco for this role?

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Reader Feedback - 4 Comments


Is it too late to put my name in the hat for OZ: The Great & Powerful? Seriously thought, unless you've got Russel Crowe as Dorothy, I don't care.

Anonymous on Feb 5, 2011


i think its an interesting choice....this will require james to do a bit of a johnny depp performance, right? I'm curious to see what he would come up with

Vshtabnoy on Feb 5, 2011


also, Franco is a completely different actor than he was when he worked with Raimi before...he used to resort to a lot of cliches in his acting, and be too brooding for no reason, and not be as spontaneous....thankfully he has dropped those bad habits

Vshtabnoy on Feb 5, 2011


I'm just glad that Johnny Depp is not attached to this. I feel as if I've seen him do this character too many times already (i.e. every character he has ever played).

nitroslick on Feb 5, 2011

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