banner

The Wizard of Oz

emerald-city

Few authors can lay claim to creating a cultural touchstone. L.Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz has been a childhood favourite for over a century, and NBC are now poised to bring us a retelling of the fable. Their venture down the yellow brick road is only the latest in a long line of adaptations and re-imaginings. Ranging from The Wiz, Oz the great and Powerful and Wicked to the iconic 1932 original. It’s also not the first story set in Oz to cast Dorothy’s quest in a darker light, with 1985’s Return to Oz introducing many a fresh-faced youngster to their first taste of existential terror. So what does NBC plan on bringing to the party?.

(more…)

‘Oz’ Munchkin Margaret Pellegrini Dies at 89

large_2008-05-31-ll-OzStravaganza

Margaret Pellegrini, best known as the “Flowerpot Munchkin” and one of the “Sleepyhead Kids” in 1939’s history-making cinematic masterpiece: The Wizard Of Oz, died of a stroke on Monday at her home in Phoenix, AZ–according to her representative, Ted Bulthaup.

The 89 year old Pellegrini was one of three surviving Munchkins.

Her death leaves only fellow Phoenix resident Ruth Duccini (95) and “Lollipop Kid” Jerry Maren (93), who lives in Los Angeles.

Today, flowers were placed at the Munchkins’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Nerd Bastards sends our best wishes to her family and friends.

Sources: Deadline, CNN

Oz-The-Great-and-Powerful

Once upon a time, there was a carnival magician who wanted to be more than he was. He wanted to be Harry Houdini or Thomas Edison. He wanted gold and glory. Oz the Great and Powerful, staring James Franco as Oscar (Oz) Diggs, tells this tale.

Directed by Sam Raimi, this film tells the origin story of the Man Behind the Curtain. When we meet Oscar, he is a carnival magician who’s never uttered an honest word in his life. He is insecure, disingenuous and can barely captivate an audience. Something which, unfortunately, translates to the viewing audience. We live this film through the eyes of Oscar. When Oscar is bored, we are bored. When Oscar is captivated, we are captivated. This is bit of a dangerous way to spin a story, because when your main character spends the first act bored and unhappy, your audience spends the first act bored and unhappy.

(more…)

oz-the-great-and-powerful-banner-poster

Sam Raimi‘s Oz the Great and Powerful hasn’t even opened yet and the sequel is already in the works. Disney has hired  Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards, The Whole Ten Yards) to write the follow-up script, which continues the adventures of James Franco’s Oz. Disney is betting that the movie will do blockbuster numbers and are eager to keep the ball rolling.

The movie stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. Sam Raimi directed the film, which, despite lukewarm critic’s reviews, is looking to earn $80 million to $90 million in it’s opening weekend. Oz the Great and Powerful needs a strong opening to help recoup the Government sized budget, reportedly over the $200 million mark.

In a related story James Franco got a star on the Hollywood Walk 0f Fame yesterday.

james-franco-5

Sam Raimi spoke at the ceremony:

“Working with James over the years, I’ve learned many things about him. James is a teacher, a poet, a sculptor, an actor, a director, a writer, a producer, a basket weaver – the thing goes on and on for days! Seems like we’re always discovering James’ next endeavor.

“Today we join the rest of the world to honour you in your achievements with a much-deserved star on Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame, a star made from marble – which you yourself have hewn from a mountain, from brass that you have smelted!”

Franco teared up during his speech and said:

“I wish that I could put a bunch of names on this star because this is a collaborative business… The people behind the scenes, the people who have been there for me, all the way through, if I could, I’d put all your names on there. Thank you, and I’ll always remember this.”

Via: THR

Oz-The-Great-and-Powerful-3

Based on the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and a prequel to the events of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Oz The Great and Powerful has been gathering quite a buzz since images and trailers started releasing late last year. Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams the Disney feature from Sam Raimi may have been quite different if Iron Man had accepted the role back in 2010.

What made producers turn down freakin’ Robert Downey Jr.? RDJ was one of Sam’s top choices to play Oscar Diggs, the “Wizard” of Oz, and in an act of good faith the director gifted him with a plant hoping to lure RDJ to the role. Months later at a meeting at the actor’s home Raimi noticed the plant wilting in a corner, and ended their talks.

It sounds completely made up, a plant cost RDJ, the living Tony Stark, a chance to float in magic bubbles for Disney. This is one of those “too weird not to be true” stories and the filmmaker declined to comment in the article from The Hollywood Reporter. So, you can practically spit on the Spider-Man film trilogy, but you mess with horticulture and Sam kicks your ass to the yellow brick road.

Maybe it’s for the better though, Iron-Man 3 is right around the corner and new clips from Oz the Great and Powerful are already here. Check them out after the jump.
(more…)

Watch New ‘Oz’ Clip Featuring Kunis and Weisz

oz-the-great-and-powerful-poster-1

In a few more weeks, we will behold Sam Raimi‘s Oz The Great and Powerful, the modernized, updated prequel to the MGM classic film. Naturally, as we get closer to the release date we’ll see more and more clips, like this one, which features Rachel Weisz as Evanora and Mila Kunis as Theodora arguing over the veracity of the Wizard’s claims when he arrives in Oz from Kansas, and it ends with explosive results. Watch the clip below:

The film co-stars James Franco as the Wizard and Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch.

Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. 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 wizard but into a better man as well.

Oz comes out March 8th.

Source: Collider

From Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con right to your computer screen — the trailer for Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful debuted earlier today and the House of Mouse promptly released it to the public shortly thereafter.

Brilliant visuals, a black and white beginning, flying monkeys, and the return of Sam Raimi stand out most of all, and of course the cast — with James FrancoMila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, and Zach Braff is pretty darn impressive too (It’s a Disney movie, I felt like darn was more appropriate.)

Here is a look at the synopsis and the trailer is below that. Oz the Great and Powerful is set to hit theaters on March 8, 2013.

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.

 

Quick Look at ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’

The last time I talked about The Wizard of Oz,  I wasn’t very kind. I had said that while I always appreciated the concept of Oz, the original 1939  film was far too dated for me to enjoy. Technicolor, songs from the 40’s, and theater acting in film just doesn’t sway me. Simple as that. Naturally, a fan of NB told me I had no imagination and absolutely no concept of film or culture. Maybe this is true. I will tell you, though, I like Oz enough that I’m excited for Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful. It’s a modern interpretation. I like modern. The looks and sounds of film today are far more captivating than the films of yesteryear (obviously). If Raimi can marry modern film technology with the charm and wonder of Oz, I think we’ll be in store for a great film!

Moving on…

While the first real bits of footage will likely be unveiled this week during Comic-Con, Entertainment Tonight stopped by the set of Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful,  and if you can tolerate sitting through the annoying ET host, you’ll see some first-look behind-the-scenes footage featuring leads James Franco and Mila Kunis.

Here’s the official plot description:

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.

Source: IndieWire

Now I know this isn’t much, but hey at least it’s something! While the characters in the film may be “following the yellow brick road” the actual actors will be following this sign which was tweeted by actress Abigail Spencer.

In the film, Spencer will reportedly play “a young woman who is a willing subject of Oz’s magic tricks which the erstwhile magician is performing in Kansas.” That magician is played by James Franco whose balloon blows off course and finds himself in Oz, in the middle of an epic battle between three sisters: The good witch (Michelle Williams) the evil witch (Rachel Weisz) and the one torn between the two (Mila Kunis).

Also rounding out this AMAZING cast is Zach Braff! So even though this Sam Raimi directed prequel isn’t headed our way for a while yet at least it’s something to get excited about.  What do you guys think?? Any chance this will be the actual logo for the film??

 

**Larger image after the jump!

Source: SlashFilm

(more…)

With a cast already consisting of James Franco, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz I didn’t think Sam Raimi’s Oz: Great and Powerful cast could get any better..or MORE eclectic, adding Michelle Williams (Dawson’s Creek, Blue Valentine) as “The Good Witch”.

The new tale of Oz will follow a salesmen played by Franco who Theodroa (Kunis) makes several advances at. Getting REJECTED causes her to  be evil.  While Williams and Kunis start out together they grow further and further apart.

The way the plot is shaping up it looks like it will team  good (Williams/Franco) vs. team evil (Weisz/Kunis) (so seriously…which guy out there desperately wants to be  apart of team evil??). I don’t know about you guys, but with this awesome casting news I starting to think that in the capable hands of Sam Raimi there will be a badass new version of Oz, “somewhere over the rainbow”.

 

Source: SlashFilm