- Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Zach Braff, Joey King, Abigail Spencer, Bruce Campbell, Martin Klebba, Bill Cobbs, Ted Raimi, Tony Cox, Toni Wynne, Tim Holmes, Keith Schloemp, Phillip Huber, Francisca Viudes, Jon Overgaauw, Otis Winston, Bart McCarthy, Cameron Barnett, Brice Harris, Chidi Ajufo, Bob Jay Mills
- Director: Sam Raimi
- Writers: Mitchell Kapner, David Lindsay-Abaire, L. Frank Baum
- Producer: Joe Roth
- Co Producers: K.C. Hodenfield, W. Mark McNair
- Associate Producers: Debbi Bossi, John Brooks Klingenbeck
- Executive Producers: Grant Curtis, Joshua Donen, Palak Patel, Philip Steuer
- Art Direction: Todd Cherniawsky
- Casting: John Papsidera
- Costume Design: Gary Jones
- D.O.P.: Peter Deming
- Editor: Bob Murawski
- Makeup: Vivian Baker
- Music: Danny Elfman
- Production Design: Robert Stromberg
- Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
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.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Los Angeles, USA; Michigan, USA
- MPAA Warning: Sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language
- Production Budget: $200 million
- Production Companies: Roth Films, Walt Disney Pictures
- Production Schedule: 25 July 2011 - 22 December 2011
2013 Guide Analysis: "There was a point about two years ago when around nine films were in development based on L. Frank Baum's Land of Oz book series. As the work is in the public domain, anyone can develop projects based on the property and many studios were doing just that. Most of them have dropped off the radar since, a couple still remain in active development (e.g. the "Wicked" movie), and one or two are actually going to make it to screens this year or next.
Without question though, the biggest and most interesting of those that have been made so far is this $200 million tentpole at Disney Pictures. Aiming to emulate the billion dollar success they had with Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" a few years ago, the Mouse House has given this "Oz" the same CG-heavy fantasyland sheen, another fanboy-loved director (in this case Sam Raimi), and gives us a new spin on the story. While Burton's 'Alice' was a pseudo-sequel to the original Lewis Carroll story, this is a kind of prequel set several years before Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."
The story explores how a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics (James Franco) is transported from Kansas to the mythical land of Oz. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing this magical world, he must ultimately become the great and powerful Wizard that everyone is expecting him to be. Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire penned the story which combines elements from the original books along with some homages to the classic 1939 MGM movie.
Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp were originally up for the lead, while Sam Mendes was a top candidate to direct at one time. In the end, it was the "Spider-Man" duo of Raimi and actor James Franco who became part of the film. More exciting is the actresses filling out the roles of the three key witches, starting with the radiant Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch of the South. Rachel Weisz goes full-bore evil as Evanora, the Wicked Witch of the East who will ultimately be crushed by Dorothy's house.
The big question is what exactly Mila Kunis' role entails. Her Theodora character is seemingly helpful and a stunning looker too. She doesn't resemble the Wicked Witch of the West that we know, and the trailers show that the green-skinned cackling incarnation of the character makes a dramatic appearance in the film. Disney's marketing is keeping the mystery intact for now, showcasing the evil green witch figure in promo posters, but obscuring her face so we are not sure who she truly is.
While the film's first trailer seemed like a miscalculation and very similar to Burton's woeful "Alice," subsequent trailers and TV spots showcase a decidedly more interesting and ambitious looking film. From the change in color and aspect ratio between the Kansas-Oz scenes, to the impressive scale and stunning visuals - there's definitely a more consistent and adventurous feel overall than Burton's 'Alice'. The reviews will hopefully be considerably better as well."