Disney’s Sam Raimi directed prequel, Oz: The Great and Powerful, opens today in cinemas around the world and the expectation is the film will open big. Reports are suggesting an $80-90 million (£53-60 million) opening weekend which would see the film start off very strong, and with the Easter holidays just a few weeks away, the film will no doubt get a further boost from ticket sales while the kids are off school.
Naturally with an expected opening so big, Disney are already planning a sequel and have hired Mitchell Kapner to write it. Kapner wrote Oz: The Great and Powerful with David Lindsay-Abaire, but the interesting news is that Kapner was actually hired to pen the sequel months ago (reports Variety). Disney have kept quite on their plans, and still have made no official announcement , but with the film set to be a huge success, Disney are likely to announce the news once the figures are revealed next week.
Big budget flicks like Oz, which cost $325 million to make, are always likely to get sequels should they be successful, but they can also be a dangerous gamble. The same time last years Disney had plans in place for a sequel to John Carter titled, John Carter: God of Mars but the film lost Disney so much money the sequel was binned. And this year Jack the Giant Slayer, which cost in the region of $200 million to make, opened in the US on a pathetic $28 million, causing a huge loss for Warner Brothers. However, if done right then these fantasy adventures can be a huge success (just look at Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland), and Disney are expecting Oz: The Great and Powerful to really deliver.
There are no details on where the story will go from here, and with ‘Powerful’ being a prequel, it opens up all sorts of opportunities. However, there are rights issues over the original MGM 1939 classic, and filmmakers are not allowed to reference any of the iconic images from that film. This leaves Disney with no chance of continuing the story into The Wizard of Oz, and they would have to skip that story and move on to something new. Or, they could remake one of the scariest films of all time, Return to Oz.
Here’s all the details for Oz: The Great and Powerful:
Sam Raimi directs from a screenplay written by Mitchell Kapner, and the story is based on the novel written by L. Frank Baum. The credited cast includes James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Abigail Spencer, Joey King, Zach Braff and Martin Klebba.
Oz: The Great and Powerful arrives in UK cinemas 8th March 2013. For more on the film, click here
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.
When small-time magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) pulls one flimflam too many, he finds himself hurled into the fantastical Land of Oz where he must somehow transform himself into the great and powerful Wizard — and just maybe into a better man as well.
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