Don’t expect too many lions and tigers and bears in this prequel to the classically famous Wizard of Oz. In Oz: The Great and Powerful expect more wizardry and fantastical adventure than ever before. Now with a full-length trailer, audiences are given a better idea of what they’ll be up against come early Spring 2013. What once was a stroll down the Yellow Brick Road has now become an experience one Kansas magician will never forget.
James Franco moves from one movie with CGI apes/monkeys to the next, but only this time he is in the lead role. Oz: The Great and Powerfulappears like it will start similarly to The Wizard of Oz, introducing our hero and blasting them off to the land of Oz via tornado. (Click on any of the images below to see a larger hi-res image.)
Oscar (James Franco) looks like a bright young lad who gets thrown into a life he may be unprepared for. But will he find the courage and strength to stand up and prove to audiences he can be the great and powerful wizard we all know from 1939’s Wizard of Oz? That will be the true testament, telling the story of how he came to rule Emerald City.
One thing’s for sure, like in The Wizard of Oz, our protagonist will have to deal with some warring witches, only this time more sexually attractive for a younger audience to relate to. We have Glinda the Good Witch, who is played by Michelle Williams – originally played by Billie Burke in the 1939 films. And then we have two new witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz). Watch the trailer below to see how they fit in to the land of Oz.
This is a fun trailer. We get to revisit the wonderful, colorful palette of Oz while being introduced to new faces and places. Being a prequel, there will be new world building elements that will tie into the land of Oz we all know and love. How did the Wicked Witch of the West become who she is and what happens to Theodora and Evanora before the 1939 film? Questions like these are what I will go into the film with. From what I can tell, perhaps Evanora turns into the Wicked Witch of the West?
It wouldn’t bean adventure through Oz without a ragtag group of misfits. There appears to be a monkey butler named Finley, voiced by Zach Braff, and a little China Doll, voiced by Joey King. And who could forget about those adorable little Munckhins? There better be a song or two, otherwise what’s the point of even showing up to see this movie?
Read the full plot synopsis of the film below, courtesy of Apple Trailers:
When Oscar Diggs, 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, Evanora, and Glinda, 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.
I think Oz: The Great and Powerful could be enjoyable, but I am not confident that this will work either. It almost looks like a carbon copy of the recent Alice in Wonderland from Tim Burton – it is produced by the same people. My only hope for this film is that it can capture the same awe-inspiring story found in the 1939 Wizard of Oz that still to this day wows audiences.
Directed by Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead and Spider-man trilogies) Oz: The Great and Powerful arrives in theaters March 8, 2013.