Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time

James Franco Locks In To Visit 'Oz: The Great And Powerful'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 25, 2011 at 5:03AM

We'll say this: it's kind of amazing the amount of buzz James Franco -- aka The Franco -- has managed to create for himself. It's the kind of chatter and publicity most stars would love to have, but it's all the more remarkable considering that it's only after this weekend when he hosts the Oscars that James Franco will become something of a household name. Sure, he had a co-starring role in the "Spider-Man" films but other than that, he hasn't really toplined a major franchise. But that's all about to change. Later this year he will fight the "Rise of the Apes" and now Deadline reports that the ink is pretty much dry on earlier talks that will find the actor reteaming with Sam Raimi for "Oz: The Great and Powerful."
1


We'll say this: it's kind of amazing the amount of buzz James Franco -- aka The Franco -- has managed to create for himself. It's the kind of chatter and publicity most stars would love to have, but it's all the more remarkable considering that it's only after this weekend when he hosts the Oscars that James Franco will become something of a household name. Sure, he had a co-starring role in the "Spider-Man" films but other than that, he hasn't really toplined a major franchise. But that's all about to change. Later this year he will fight the "Rise of the Apes" and now Deadline reports that the ink is pretty much dry on earlier talks that will find the actor reteaming with Sam Raimi for "Oz: The Great and Powerful."

Taking over for Robert Downey Jr. who bailed on the project (Johnny Depp also passed), the prequel of sorts follows Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs (a.k.a. Oz), a showman and magician at a traveling circus who flees in a hot air balloon after being caught canoodling with a customer’s wife only to be swept away in a terrible storm to wake up in the magical land of Oz, which is run by two magical wicked witches. An ambitious project to be sure, but one that is coming with a hefty price tag.

Apparently the budget on this thing is hovering around the $200 million mark -- to put that in perspective that's about the same cost for "Inception" which had a worldwide star in the lead role and roster of acclaimed supporting actors. We think it's a pretty big gamble to put on Franco, especially considering the jury is still out on whether or not Joe Sixpack auds will flock to see him. That said, if they get some solid supporting thesps the draw for the film should be fine and let's not forget it's spinning off one of the most beloved films of all time.

Production on the film is set to begin July. Before he gets to this one though, Franco will star in Noah Baumbach's upcoming relationship comedy "While We're Young" and once he's done with 'Oz' he'll hit the boards on Broadway opposite Nicole Kidman in "Sweet Bird of Youth." In between all this he'll probably write five terms papers, create his own energy drink, curate an exhibit at MoMA and enter a race around the world by canoe.

No word yet on a release date, but we're guessing it'll be a late 2012 release.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Sam Raimi, Genre Films, James Franco , Oz The Great And Powerful


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates