Sam Raimi has taken the job of directing Disney’s Wizard Of Oz prequel, Oz, The Great And Powerful. Raimi had been offered the job late last week, and that offer quickly turned into a deal for the director to helm the 3D project for the studio.
Since being squeezed out of Sony’s Spider-Man franchise, Raimi has been working on developing a film based on the online game World Of Warcraft for Warner Brothers, though no greenlight has been given for the project yet.
While Robert Downey Jr had been reported as being attached to the project to star as a carnival worker swept to the magical land of OZ where he is mistaken for a powerful wizard, Deadline is stating that there isn’t a deal in place for the actor yet. Raimi’s first duty on the project is now to oversee a rewrite of the script to suit Downey.
Of course, Downey’s participation may not hinge so much on a script tailored to him so much as his own schedule. Downey is currently working on Sherlock Holmes 2 and after that will probably have to move right on to The Avengers in order to meet that films announced release date of May 4, 2012. He is also committed to Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity.
But will Disney wait for Downey’s availability? There are a number of other studios developing Oz-related projects and everyone is in a race to be the first on the screens at your local cinemaplex.