By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 11, 2012 at 12:18PM
In this era of 3D and CGI, Sam Raimi is rolling the dice a bit on his upcoming "Oz: The Great and Powerful" that may surprise regular multiplex moviegoers. Adjust your eyes, because 'Oz' is going monochrome. Granted, "The Artist" this year proved that (arthouse) audiences aren't afraid of black-and-white or silent films, but let's not pretend the average ticket buyer will be rushing out to see it. But for Raimi's film starrring James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis, he's going to be tipping his hat to the classic "The Wizard of Oz" we already know and love.
Speaking with TeenSpot (via CinemaBlend) recently, child actress Joey King dished on Raimi's visual approach to the movie. "We’re doing the same thing as the first 'Wizard of Oz,' we’re making it black and white in the beginning and then (it gets) colorful when we enter the Land of Oz. It’s also going to be a 3D movie; I’m so excited about that. It’s going to add a whole new level to the awesomeness of Oz," she said.
Along with "Battle: Los Angeles" and the upcoming "The Dark Knight Rises," King is racking up an impressive CV so early into her career, and in 'Oz' she actually will have two chances to impress audiences. “I play Wheelchair Girl and China Girl. Wheelchair Girl is in Kansas and China Girl is my main character, she’s in most of the movie. She’s really fun – she’s sassy. She lost her family when the Wicked Witches came in. Now, Oz sort of becomes her adopted father,” she explained.
In case you're still playing catch up, 'Oz' is a prequel of sorts and follows Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs (Franco), 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 (Kunis and Weisz). Williams will play Glinda the Good Witch.
Even though filming kicked off last year, there is still a long way to go on this one. "Oz: The Great and Powerful" won't hit theaters until March 8, 2013.