Here’s What’s Going On 07/24/2013: New Writers Courted for Next STAR TREK

Scribes with Bad Robot creds in talks… Syfy wants Oz characters to go to war… We wanted to show you the trailer for RIDDICK. We can’t. We just can’t…
From the luxurious Cinefantastique Online studios in NYC, Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of fantastic film & TV.

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Here’s What’s Going On: 06/05/2013 Video News Update

Get a look at Superman’s new look… STAR TREK producer Brannon Braga gets all witchy… Damon Lindelof gets Left Behind… THE WIZARD OF OZ goes deep…
Cinefantastique Online’s Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of genre media.

Sam Raimi Going to 'OZ'

Wizard_Scary_WSat on this for a while, but it appears to be legit.
Deadline.com says it can confirm that Sam Raimi (SPIDER-MAN) is going to direct OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL for Walt Disney Pictures.
Robert Downey Jr. (IRON MAN) is said to be in talks to play the role of the “Wizard” in this prequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939).

 
The article states that Downey’s character is a “circus wrangler transported by tornado to the mysterious world of Oz”.
The screenplay, formerly known as BRICK, was written by Mitchell Kapner (ROMEO MUST DIE). Disney hopes to have the film out in 2013.
In the Frank L. Baum novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Great and Powerful Oz was a state fair performer from Omaha, whose hot-air balloon was whisked away into the fabulous land. The novels implied the Land of Oz was real, and not just the dreamscape of young Dorothy Gale, as in the best-known movie.

Downey & Mendes On For Wizard of Oz Prequel?


Still from The Wizard of Oz
Still from The Wizard of Oz

According to Production Weekly’s Twitter feed THE WIZARD OF OZ prequel, entitled OZ THE GREAT AND THE POWERFUL, may have secured it’s director and star. Following the sad BOND 23 news it seems director Sam Mendes (ROAD TO PERDITION, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD) has found his next project and Robert Downey Jr. (IRON MAN, SHERLOCK HOLMES) is interested in playing the lead role.

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL is being brought to us by Disney, produced by Joe Roth (ALICE IN WONDERLAND, HELLBOY) and the screenplay has been written by Mitchell Kapner (THE WHOLE NINE YARDS, ROMERO MUST DIE). The origin tale will be told from the wizard’s perspective and details how, as a young man, he arrived in Oz as part of a travelling circus, and how he became to be the coward behind the curtain of the original film.
Nothing about this project sounds particularly interesting, or indeed necessary, but it’s too early to discount it entirely. The thought of Mendes and Downey teaming up, however, does spark a bit of excitement as both are talented big-names in the business. There’s no word on a release date just yet but does anyone want to take a bet on how long it takes before it’s confirmed to be in 3D?

Journey back to Oz?

The Los Angeles Times tells us that the blockbuster success of Disney’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND – a remake of a beloved family-friendly fantasy classic – has Warner Brothers seriously debating on whether to proceed with one of a pair of projects inspired by the 1939 WIZARD OF OZ.

One project, called “Oz,” currently lives at Warner’s New Line label. It’s being produced by Temple Hill, which is behind a little franchise called “Twilight,” and has a script written by Darren Lemke, a writer on the upcoming “Shrek Forever After.”
A second “Wizard of Oz” project, set up at Warners proper, skews a little darker — it’s written by “A History of Violence” screenwriter Josh Olson and focuses on a granddaughter of Dorothy who returns to Oz to fight evil. “Clash of the Titans” producer Basil Iwanyk and his Thunder Road Pictures are behind that one. (“Spawn” creator Todd MacFarlane is potentially involved in a producerial capacity, to give you some idea of the tone.)

The projects are supposedly only in the early developmental stage, but the article suggests that reps for top directing talent have been contacted.