Spider-Man‘s Sam Raimi has been confirmed as the director of Disney’s upcoming Wizard of Oz prequel, currently being titled Oz: The Great and Powerful and slated for 2013.
Another possible addition? Robert Downey Jr. as the wizard himself:
Deadline’s Nikke Finke writes, “Downey would play the Wizard of Oz before he became the Wizard of Oz … he’s in fact a circus wrangler transported by tornado to the mysterious world of Oz where he gets mistaken for a know-it-all.” Downey hasn’t committed to the role yet, and no release date has been set.
This project was pushed even further up Disney’s to-do list after the huge success of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which remains the most successful film of 2010 at this point. Disney’s hoping for more success in the reviving-old-stories-with-new-themes department.