Sam Raimi Up For “Oz” Prequel?

“Spider-Man” helmer Sam Raimi has apparently been offered the job of director on Disney’s upcoming prequel “Oz: The Great and Powerful” reports New York Magazine.

Though the likes of Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”) and Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”) were previously rumoured, the paper’s sources claim Raimi has already received an official offer.

Robert Downey Jr. will star in the film which tells of how the Wizard arrived in Oz and became the ruler of the Emerald City. Mitchell Kapner penned the script.

The project is one of at least a half dozen projects based on L. Frank Baum’s classic literary property currently in the works, most being original spins on the property rather than direct adaptations.

The list includes the ‘Wizard’ sequel Surrender Dorothy” which Zach Helm (“Stranger Than Fiction”) penned and Drew Barrymore is rumoured to be directing; the animated musical “Dorothy of Oz” announced last Friday; the film adaptation of the hit musical “Wicked”; a project simply called “Oz” by Darren Lemke (“Shrek Forever After”); a darker and twisted take on the Oz books by scribe Josh Olson (“A History of Violence”) and Todd MacFarlane; and a CG-animated feature that John Boorman is slated to direct.