Off to See The Wizard: Sam Raimi to direct ‘Wizard of Oz’ prequel with Robert Downey Jr.?

8 Oct

Seventy years after the technicolor original came out, and after several interesting takes on the subject (The Wiz, Return to Oz), director Sam Raimi will be helming a prequel to the classic The Wizard of Oz, and serious talks are in to Robert Downey Jr. to play the titular wiz. The movie will tell the story about how the Wizard came to be, from his earthly days as a circus wrangler, to the tornado that takes him to Oz, with screenwriting duties going to David Lindsay-Abaire, Broadway playwright who is currently adapting his play Rabbit Hole into a movie starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.

If anyone were going to play the wonderful wizard of Oz, we think Robert Downey Jr. would be on the shortlist. With his charismatic turn as Tony Stark in both Iron Man movies, and his skittish portrayal of patsy actor in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Downey’s a natural pick to play the eccentric Oz. Johnny Depp would’ve been a good choice, but he’s already done the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and this movie is already going to get enough comparisons to that. Raimi has great experience tackling darker topics, and we’ve got a feeling this new version is going to have some creepier elements to it, steering more toward the route of Return to Oz than The Wiz. We’ll have to wait until production starts before we get a taste of the tone he takes, but we’re going to give the thumbs up so far on this project.

Now what was up with that news about Raimi making a World of Warcraft movie???


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