Production began on Oz The Great and Powerful in Pontiac, Michigan, earlier this week. The film, which stars James Franco as Oscar Diggs, a snake oil salesman and magician with questionable morals, serves as a prequel to the legendary film, The Wizard of Oz. Joining Franco will be Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz as witch sisters Theodora and Evanora, respectively, with Michelle Williams cast in the role of good witch sister Glinda. Zach Braff will also co-star.
The film will center around Oscar’s tale as he is blown away by a tornado into the land of Oz:
…He thinks he’s hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking-that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
The film will be shot entirely on the soundstage of the brand new Raleigh Michigan Studios. The 200,000 square foot facility was previously a General Motors business campus and a truck manufacturing plant, and has been given a new lease on life as a film studio.
Oz The Great and Powerful is set to hit theatres March 8, 2013.