Sam Raimi's OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Lands March 8th 2013

Disney have announced that Sam Raimi's Wizard of Oz prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful that is casting up to film this July in Michigan will hit screens on March 8th, 2013 - refreshingly a near two year shoot-to-release-date window compared to the heart attacks modern day helmers are having struggling to turn around their tentpoles in 14 months or less (Matt Vaughn had less than a year to complete X-Men: First Class and was still working on it as recently as two weeks ago). Having seen Tim Burton's similar concept for Alice in Wonderland's re-imagining earn over $1 billion on the same date last year, clearly Disney are hoping lightning will strike again for another colourful fairytale/fantasy. Raimi's Spider-Man star James Franco stars as the title character, a charlatan circus magician who has been necking it with a customer's wife when a violent storm sends his hot air balloon to the land of Oz where the kooky characters believe him to be a powerful Wizard and the man who can finally bump off the two wicked witches (Mila Kunis' Thodora and Rachel Weisz's Evanora). Talks are well under-way for Michelle Williams to play Glinda, The Good Witch. Interestingly even though March 2013 is still nearly two years away they aren't solo on that date as Neil Blomkamp's original sci-film movie Elysium at Sony with Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley and Jodie Foster is due out on the same date. But with that being R-rated and Oz going for the PG-13 crowd, I doubt Sony will be overly concerned but if you hear about a release shift soon then you know why.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.