Stars of Disney's new Oz movie start filmingThe original “Wizard of Oz”  written by L. Frank Baum is a timeless story filled with amazing characters as told by Dorothy. Then Gregory Maguire took the story and wrote “Wicked” which are the events leading up to WoZ through Elphaba’s viewpoint (the future Wicked Witch of the West) .  And now Disney has started filming on the newest Oz movie, “Oz The Great and Powerful” which is finally telling the story from the Wizard’s point of view!

While it might seem odd that Disney would want to make a movie based on the Oz story, it’s actually something Walt himself talked about.  Here’s an special episode of “The Mickey Mouse Club” where the kids and Walt discuss the story and then they act out the story that’s been Disney-fied – the music and dance are clearly Disney-style and there’s Ozma – the “beautiful lost princess of Oz“.  This special aired on September 11th 1957.

“Walt Disney’s Wizard Of Oz” Video

MIchelle Williams

Michelle Williams (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Blue Valentine”) as Glinda, the Good Witch.

The cast and crew of “Oz The Great and Powerful” assembled on July 25, 2011, at the brand-new Raleigh Studios in Pontiac, Michigan, to began filming on the new movie which will release in 2013.  The entire production will take place solely within the state-of-the-art 200,000 square foot sound stage facility that was once the location of the of General Motors’ Centerpoint business campus and truck manufacturing plant.

Walt Disney Pictures’ fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,”  is directed by Sam Raimi, stars Academy Award® nominee James Franco (“127 Hours”) as the young wizard, Golden Globe® nominee Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”) as the witch Theodora, Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”) as Kunis’ sister Evanora and two-time Oscar®-nominated actress Michelle Williams (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Blue Valentine”) as Glinda, the Good Witch.

The cast also includes Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominee Zach Braff (“Scrubs,” “Garden State”), who plays Franco’s circus assistant and he voices  Finley, a CGI-created winged monkey who accompanies the magician on his journey to Oz; and 12-year-old actress Joey King (“Ramona and Beezus”), who voices the CGI character, China Girl, who also joins the future Wizard on his excursion through Oz.

In the prequel story, Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is a small-time circus magician with questionable ethics.  He’s swept away from Kansas and ends up in the colorful Land of Oz where he thinks he’s hit the jackpot.  He believes he’s on the road to fame and fortune when he meets three witches – Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams).  The three 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.

The film will be produced by Joe Roth, with executive producers Grant Curtis (the “Spider-Man” trilogy, “Drag Me to Hell”), Philip Steuer (“The Chronicles of Narnia” series) and Palak Patel. The screenplay was written by Mitchell Kapner, (“The Whole Nine Yards”) and David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rabbit Hole,” “Robots”). The crew also includes cinematographer Peter Deming (“Mulholland Dr.,” “Drag Me to Hell”), two-time Academy Award®–winning production designer Robert Stromberg (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Avatar”), Oscar®-winning film editor Bob Murawski (“The Hurt Locker,” the “Spider-Man” trilogy), veteran Oscar®-nominated costume designer Gary Jones (“Spider-Man 2,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), visual effects Oscar® winner Scott Stokdyk (“Spider-Man 2,” “Spider-Man”) and Academy Award®–winning special makeup artist Howard Berger (“The Chronicles of Narnia” series), who will create the looks of several of the unique denizens of Oz, including creatures such as the Whimsies, the Tinkers, and the Winkies, as well as the ghastly look of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Oz The Great and Powerful” will be released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on March 8, 2013.

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