Robert Downey Jr Leaves Sam Raimi's 'Oz The Great and Powerful'

January 20, 2011
Source: THR

Wizard of Oz

Though we got confirmation last year that Sam Raimi's next film would be Oz: The Great and Powerful, an origin story about the infamous Wizard of Oz, it sounds like he'll be doing it without Robert Downey Jr. Though the actor had previously been attached to the gestating project, THR reports he has since dropped out of the project and Disney is now in discussions with Johnny Depp to take over the role of a young illusionist with a grandiose attitude who is forced to flee a traveling circus. His hot air balloon is swept up by a tornado to the land of Oz, which is run by two magical wicked witches. More below!

No reason was given for Downey's sudden departure from the project but considering the myriad of different projects that he's either producing or starring in, it's not entirely surprising. He also recently dropped out of Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, so maybe the actor just had too much on his plate. However, if that's really the issue preventing his involvement, going to Johnny Depp doesn't seem like a better prospect. Depp also has a busy future that includes Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, The Thin Man and more. Either way, Disney isn't slowing down as the studio has already hired a unit production manager to begin creating the world of Oz and still plans to start production towards the second half of the year. Thoughts?

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  • Beanstalk
    I don't know about Johnny Depp, it seems the obvious choice but thats only based on the fact that he plays similar character personalities in a lot of films i.e. wacky mysterious same-y type of thing. He's been there and done that enough already imo.
  • Andiana97
    I think it's a good choice if they go to Depp. Why not? Yes he has played a lot of whacky-off beat characters, so? If he's good at it and he makes Disney money for doing it, then why not have him star in it?
  • Anonymous
    i'd much rather see depp that downey - so, this would be good news for me.
  • Voice of Reason
    Go with someone new or not as famous as either Depp or Downey, the story will sell audiences regardless and somehow i think the story would benefit from someone fresher.
  • Jericho
    lets hope they cant get anyone except a B movie actor so this would tank before it even gets off the ground...that'll show'em
  • Depp or Downey? In a world with over 6,894,748,030 people, if they need a whacky but slightly dark actooor, they have a choice of two people? What a bunch of AIDS. I like both actors, but c'mooooooooooooooooooan man.
  • As long as Rami reads the source material this time......
    • Anonymous
      If he did YOU probably would not get it.
  • hmmm wonder why oh well




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