I recently had the amazing opportunity thanks to Disney to catch an early screening of the New Disney Live action film OZ: The Great and Powerful! I can’t wait to tell you all about it very soon. You will love this movie for the visuals alone. This is one movie that I will say you HAVE TO see in 3D! I digress…
I also had the opportunity to attend the press conference with the amazing Sam Raimi, who you may know from directing the ORIGINAL Spider-Man Trilogy. He also directed cult classics Army of Darkness and Evil Dead. Needless to say I was geeking out to have the opportunity to even be in the same room with this man. He was joined by Joe Roth (the Producer of the film) and some of the amazing cast during the conference. Joe Roth has produced all the fantastical remakes of fairy tale classics that have come out recently like Snow White and the Huntsman and Alice in Wonderland.
Oz was a perfect fit for these two visionary filmmakers. The truly captured the look and feel of Oz.
In the time we spent with both men, they both spoke about what it took to make this prequal to The Wizard of Oz.
Raimi truly captured the look and feel of old Hollywood in this film, but he contributes it to “How the ladies in carried themselves, the energies they created for themselves, and the wardrobe and make up they were wearing.” He doesn’t take credit for the beautiful shots he helped capture either. He blamed it on the “lighting.”
He’s so modest! He also stated he had 3 striking women in the leads of the film so he didn’t have to do much work to make them look beautiful on film. What a sweet heart!
The one answer that I got that took me by surprise was that James Franco was not the original choice to play Oz. It was actually supposed to be Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr! After Robert dropped out of the film, Johnny Depp signed on and then dropped out too. They didn’t feel the project was right for them. James Franco actually went to Sam and asked him if he would consider him. I was shocked that Raimi never even thought of James for the part until he asked. They worked together on all three Spider-man movies, so you would think that’s how James got the part, not so! James had to come in and audition so to speak and he got the part. I’m glad they went with Franco as he did a great job. Walt Disney himself dreamed of making this film as and I think Raimi captured a film that Walt would have been proud of. Raimi himself was “surprised and honored to make it.”
When Raimi read the script for “Oz The Great and Powerful,” he “fell in love with it.” He says, “I thought it was engaging and that it had a great, flawed main character. His adventure was fun and, eventually, his character’s transformation gave it an uplifting quality that I really enjoyed.”
Roth sought a director to bring the story to life before the cameras. In choosing the acclaimed Sam Raimi, no stranger to Hollywood’s arena of epic film works (the “Spider-Man” trilogy), the veteran producer and former studio executive found what he felt was the best of a small fraternity of seasoned filmmakers who could bring the necessary scope to Kapner’s script.
“In tackling the Oz story, I could think of no better director than Sam Raimi,” says the filmmaker. “Sam is one of our leading directors who has great heart as well as visual artistry. Everything makes him the right director, frankly. He’s worked on films of this size and scope. He’s worked in a world of special effects and live action combined. And more than anything, he has the heart and the sensibility of the story.”
It was an amazing and dream come true experience to chat with these amazing film makers.
For more info on this amazing film releasing March 8th visit the website: http://www.disney.com/
Stay tuned for my interviews with the cast as well as my movie review!