Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful Starts Production, Adds Zach Braff to Cast
07.27.11 by Ryan
Sam Raimi is back at work in the director's chair, but it's not another Spider-Man movie. Instead, the director is shooting Disney's The Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz: The Great and Powerful, in his home state of Michigan.
Starring James Franco in the title role, the movie imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved character, as explained in the movie's synopsis.
When Oscar Diggs (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 is also adding a new cast member. Zach Braff (Garden State) plays Franco's circus assistant and will also provide a voice of one of the movie's CGI characters. Braff's CGI character is Finley, a winged monkey that joins Franco on his journey through Oz.
Another new cast member is Joey King, who was also recently cast in The Dark Knight Rises. King has been added as the voice of CGI character China Girl.
Written by Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards) and David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), Oz The Great and Powerful co-stars Abigail Spencer (AMC's Mad Men).