James Franco in Talks to Star in Disney’s ‘Oz, The Great and Powerful’

Disney’s upcoming film, “Oz, the Great and Powerful,” has had more topsy turvy changes than a Kansas twister.

Just two and a half weeks ago, word surfaced that Robert Downey, Jr., who was slated to play an illusionist who is swept away by a tornado, was bowing out of the project.  At that point, Johnny Depp began discussions to play the role.  Now, after some negotiation, it appears that Depp will also be passing.

The next name to be bandied about for the Sam Raimi film?  Oscar-nominated James Franco.

Fresh off his success in “127 Hours,” snagging the role would unite the young actor with Raimi, who also directed him in “Spider-Man.”

While those in the know caution that this is anything but a done deal, it is widely known that the project is a priority for Disney, who hopes to have production underway before the end of 2011.


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