Tag Archive | "Oz The Great And Powerful"

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2013 In Review: What The Top Ten Grossers Say About The State of Cinema

Posted on 01 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

TicketsIf there is one constant in Hollywood, it’s that money gets things done. So, if we want some idea where Hollywood is going in the future, we have to look at the highest grossing films of the past year. What secrets do they hold? What truths do they tell? Let’s find out.

Below is a list of the top ten domestic grossing films from 2013, accurate as of Monday, December 30, 2013, as they are reported by Box Office Mojo:

2013 top ten1. 2013 was $380 million off from 2012 domestically: The drop off is even more severe in combined worldwide grosses, which dropped $1.6 billion from last year.

Is this cause for panic? Not necessarily. Last year had the 800-lbs gorilla that was The Avengers, the final installment of Nolan’s Batman franchise and the Twilight franchise. Plus, there was a Bond film thrown in there for good measure. So there are a lot of reasons why this drop could just be a return to normal rather than the start of a great decline. But it still bears watching.

iron man tony stark Robert Downey Jr2. Robert Downey Jr. might be more valuable to Marvel than they’d like to admit: To date, only two Marvel films have reached #1 in the year in box office, The Avengers last year and Iron Man 3 this year. The other Marvel film this year, Thor: The Dark World, failed to crack the top ten by about $20 million dollars. The calls to mind 2008, when the first Iron Man made it to #2 in the top ten domestic grossing films and The Incredible Hulk ranked only #17. And for the record, Iron Man 2 was the 3rd highest grossing film of 2010. Also for the record, no other Marvel film scored higher than #10 in the year end lists.

So, the most successful films put out by Marvel had Robert Downey Jr. in a featured role. This explains why Marvel was so quick to sign him to Avengers 2 and so soon after the first receipts for Iron Man 3 came in. The only question was why Marvel didn’t throw buckets of money at him for more Iron Man films at the same time.

3. Man of Steel shows that Warners finally has figured out what to do with their DC Comics characters. Maybe: After years of false starts, Warners has finally had a hit movie starring a DC character other than one wearing a batsuit. Granted, is was with the most known character, Superman, but still. Superman Returns showed how hard it is to get people interested in a character as iconic as the Man of Steel.

The film overcame mixed reviews from both professional critics and comic book fans to earn more than $662 million worldwide, giving Warners the chance to capitalize on their DC characters the way Marvel has been capitalizing on theirs for years.

Of course, any continued success relies on Warners making Batman vs. Superman work. They are cramming just about every viable DC hero into that movie, hoping to create a Big Bang to get their shared universe started. That is a risky proposition. I can’t wait to see how, or, rather, if, they pull that off.

Gravity-2013-Movie-Poster4. Gravity tells us that Oscar bait can be successful–if it has a high concept: You don’t often get a lot of crossovers between the Top Ten highest grossing films and the shortlist for Oscar glory. The highest domestic grossing Oscar nominated film last year was Lincoln, which came in at #13. Where did Oscar winner Argo rank? It was #22.

So the fact that Gravity, a film that seems like a lock for a Best Picture nomination and a very good chance of walking off with a statue, was the 6th highest grossing film domestically is kind of a big deal.

Of course, the fact that its plot–an astronaut stranded in space has to find their way back to Earth–sounds like something John McTiernan might have directed Bruce Willis in in the 90s, helps. It is certainly a high-concept, attention grabbing story. The acting of Sandra Bullock and directing of  Alfonso Cuaron served to elevated to Oscar worthy status.

5. Frozen is proof that Disney’s in-house computer animation arm has become just as vital and exciting as its Pixar arm:  For a long time, the tradition of quality Disney animation was shouldered by its partner-turned-subsidiary, Pixar. While Disney was releasing critical failures such as Brother Bear and box office bombs such as Home on the Range and Treasure Planet, Pixar was putting out classics like Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. When it looked like Pixar was going to break away from Disney, the Mouse House made the decision to forgo conventional animation and go all in on in-house CGI fare. The results were the critically lambasted Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. It seems dark days were ahead for the mouse.

That being said, it’s was not hard to view Disney’s buying of Pixar as a sign of defeat at the time. When Pixar’s John Lasseter was made chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, it would not be outlandish  to think Disney was handing over it’s animation future exclusively to Pixar, a move that would have made a lot of sense.

Fortunately, that did not happen. Not only did Lasseter bring back the two-dimensional animation that was Disney’s hallmark with 2009’s The Princess and the Frog, but he started building up Disney’s in-house computer generation arm as well.Starting with 2008’s Bolt and continuing through 2010’s Tangled and 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph, Disney’s in-house computer animated fare began displaying better stories to add critical acclaim to the financial successes.

msf_frozen_lg_v13But with Frozen, something spectacular has happened–Disney’s in-house animation arm will have surpassed Pixar both in quality and in grosses. Yes, the film will end the year about $20 million behind Monsters University. But Frozen has only been in release for 5 weeks, and Monsters University’s take is after it completed its 26-week theatrical run. . It should over take Monsters University this week, and leave it in the dust by the time it ends its theatrical run.

And it’s not that Monsters University is a bad film, it’s just that I found Frozen to be a far better film. It was funnier, had better characters, had more emotional pull and had a much better story. Granted, you can not do a straight apples to apples comparison. After all, part of Frozen’s appeal is in its expertly crafted songs. Monsters University, not being a musical, has nothing to offer on this point in return. But I think that Frozen is good enough to not only win the Best Animated Feature Oscar, but also have a shot at a Best Picture nod.

If this trend keeps up, Disney will have two CGI animation arms that excel in quality from start to finish. As a fan of animation, you can’t help but be excited by that. And if you respect the history of animation, you should doubly excited.

6. There’s a reason why Universal is not willing to let go of Fast and Furious: In the wake Paul Walker’s tragic and ironic death in a car crash on November 30, there have been many calls for Universal to shelf the Fast and Furious franchise. After weeks of debate, it was decided that the franchise would go forward, with Fast & Furious 7‘s release date being moved from July of 2014 to April of 2015 in order to address Walker’s departure.

Perhaps in a perfect world, the film would have been cancelled and Walker’s fans would get their wish. But as you can see, Fast & Furious 6 was the 8th highest grossing film domestically last year. When you add its $550 million international gross, it became the 4th highest grossing film worldwide. Taking into consideration that sources say that up to half the film was already shot, Universal has already invested a lot in the film already. The money invested so far and the potential profits are a hard thing for any studio to give up. 

And even though Walker was a vital part of the cast, as hard as it is to say, he wasn’t the biggest draw in the ensemble. Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and most of the other players, many with international appeal, will be returning. So, from a callous business standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to call it quits now, even though many people think they should.

It remains to be seen if the tragedy changes this paradigm in anyway. Walker’s death my spoil the franchise its fans and the grosses will plummet. Or morbid curiosity might carry the franchise to new heights. But the best we can hope for is that the next film honors Walker’s legacy instead of sullying it.

7. We are going to see a lot of Oz themed films come down the pike in the near future: Back in 2010, FBOL Head Honcho Rich Drees told us of nine Wizard of Oz related projects that Hollywood had in the works. Oz, the Great and Powerful was third on the list but the first to have its feature film come to fruition. And considering that the film doubled its budget in worldwide grosses, we can expect to see the seven remaining properties (The Witches of Oz had a limited theatrical release before being recut into a SyFY UK miniseries).

First up will be Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return. The computer animated film, originally titled Dorothy of Oz, will be hitting theater on May 9, 2014. The adaptation of Caliber Comics’ OZ, now called Dreams of Oz instead of Dark Oz, is still in development with an eye on release in 2014. An adaptation of the stage musical Wicked is still in development. There are a number of other Oz projects, some that Rich mentioned, some new, that are also in the works. And, of course, a sequel to Oz, the Great and Powerful is being considered.

And if you think you can escape the Oz onslaught be staying home, think again. There are no less than five TV projects based around the concept too.

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The Classic: Sam Raimi And The 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88

Posted on 09 April 2013 by Rich Drees

Some directors have eccentric trademarks that mark their films as their own. Alfred Hitchcock had his famous cameos while John Landis would slide the phrase “See you next Wednesday” into each of his films in some manner or another. For Sam Raimi, it is an appearance of a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88. Nicknamed “The Classic,” the car has appeared in just about every one of the director’s films all the way back to the days when he and friends Bruce Campbell and Robert Tappert and his brothers Ted and Ivan would make short films after school with an old Super-8 movie camera.

This past weekend saw the remake of Raimi’s first film The Evil Dead hit theaters and sharp-eyed fans noted the appearance of a familiar yellow Oldsmobile in the film. And that got us to thinking about the car’s appearance in all of Raimi’s films. Let’s take a look.

The Evil Dead (1982)

Raimi’s first film, and one where he and producers Bruce Campbell and Robert Tappert raised all the funding themselves, so they used whatever they had at hand. And that included the use of his dad’s car as the vehicle that transports a group of teens to their fateful rendezvous with a haunted cabin in the woods.

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Crimewave (1985)

Raimi’s sophomore effort is mostly overlooked by fans, and while it does have its flaws, there are still a few things that make it worth one’s while. The film does have Raimi’s high energy direction, Campbell shows up as a sleezy criminal named Renaldo and there is a Hudsucker Prison, a name that Crimewave co-scripters Joel and Ethan Coen would recycle for their film The Hudsucker Proxy. And Raimi’s Oldsmobile shows up in the film as the vehicle of choice of two particularly crazed killers.

For the production of the film, Raimi bought two other `73 Oldsmobile Delta 88s to serve as stunt cars. However, when Raimi learned that the original car had been modified to accommodate shooting inside the vehicle at producer Campbell’s orders, he ordered everything put back to the way it was and paid for it out of his own pocket.

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Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Part remake/part sequel, the appearance of the Olds in Evil Dead II was pretty much a given. Once again it serves as the means that hero Ash (Campbell) and friends get to the haunted cabin. And it also accompanies Ash through the portal that opens up in the film’s finale.

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Darkman (1990)

At one point in Sam Raimi’s melding of The Shadow and The Phantom Of The Opera, tragic hero Peyton Westlake, aka Darkman, is hanging from a cable attached to a helicopter on which the villainous Durant (Larry Drake) is attempting to make an escape. As the helicopter pilot tries to bounce the dangling Darkman off of the oncoming traffic, one car that narrowly misses him is a 73 Oldsmobile. And if you look really closely, the two men in the front of the car are Joel and Ethan Cohen, who had done some uncredited script work on the film.

OldsDarkman

Army Of Darkness (1993)

Tossed back in time along with Ash, the Classic plays perhaps its biggest part in any of Raimi’s films as it gets converted into a machine of war to take on the army of deadites marching on the medieval castle where Ash has taken the Book of the Dead. This is without a doubt the Oldsmobile Delta 88’s finest on screen moment.

OldsArmyOfDarkness

The Quick And The Dead (1995)

The Old West doesn’t sound like much of a place to be able to feature a car that wouldn’t be manufactured for another century or so, but Raimi did manage to sneak the car into the film. Reportedly either a special covered wagon was fashioned and dropped over the car for one scene or it was covered with a tarp in a barn. So far though, no one has been able to exactly identify where it is.

A Simple Plan (1998)

The Classic doesn’t get much of a showcase here in this tale of found money and greed. All you can see of it is parked curbside in the small town where the film is set.

OldsSimplePlan

For Love Of The Game (1999)

Raimi’s baseball drama is the one film on the director’s resume that doesn’t feature the Delta 88 onscreen in some form or another. But it is not for lack of trying, as reportedly there was a scene that featured the car but it wound up on the cutting room floor.

The Gift (2000)

In this supernatural thriller, Cate Blanchett, playing a psychic in a small, Southern town who has visions of a murder victim, is the owner of a battered Olds Delta 88, that she uses to get around town.

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Spiderman Trilogy (2002, 2004, 2007)

Peter Parker’s Aunt May and Uncle Ben are a kindhearted couple who struggle to make ends meet in order to give their poor orphaned nephew as good as home as they can. And I guess that means not splurging on a new car, but keeping their old Oldsmobile Delta (looking better than has in the last number of films) running as long as they can. It is the car that fatefully takes Ben to his fatal appointment with a carjacker after dropping Peter off in midtown Manhattan in the first film. The car can again be seen in the family driveway in the following two films as well as in the third film’s flashback to the events of the first film’s carjacking.

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Drag Me To Hell (2009)

In Sam Raimi’s return to the horror genre after nearly a decade away, Alison Lohman is a young bank loan officer who makes an enemy of a vengeful gypsy, and you can guess what kind of battered old car she drives.

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Oz, The Great And Powerful (2013)

You would think that a film set in Kansas in the early years of the 20th century and then a magical faraway land would prove difficult locations for Raimi to try and insert the Olds. I haven’t been able to find the car in the film yet, but this picture I found online purports to be the car’s appearance in the film. I have my doubts though.

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Raimi Says He Doesn’t Want To Direct OZ Prequel Sequel

Posted on 09 March 2013 by Rich Drees

SamRaimiSam Raimi’s Oz, The Great And Powerful is well on its way to make somewhere in the amount of $70 to $75 million dollars this weekend, and so Disney is already starting to gear up for a sequel to their Wizard Of Oz prequel. The studio has already asked original Oz screenwriter Mitchell Kapner to begin developing a script featuring the further adventures of Kansas circus magician Oscar Diggs in the magical land of Oz set before another Kansas resident’s notable trip there.

But director Raimi won’t be one of those making the return trip. In an interview with Bleeding Cool, Raimi stated that he was quiet happy with turning the reins of a follow up film over to another director. (Warning, spoilers ahead.)

I haven’t planned on directing the sequel. I did leave some loose ends for another director if they want to make the picture. I tried to make it a complete ending, so that the audience would be fulfilled, but I also let Evenora and Theodora get away.

I was attracted to this story but I don’t think the second one would have the thing I would need to get me interested.

Now it does seem that Raimi is leaving himself an out clause there at the end in case Kapner manages to come up with a story that piques his interest. So maybe he’ll change his mind if he has a meeting with Kapner or likes what he reads once a first draft is turned in. But until then transpires, I think we can count him out for now.

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Disney Conjurs Up OZ Prequel Sequel

Posted on 08 March 2013 by Rich Drees

Oz_The_Great_and_PowerfulFrancoWilliamsAlthough it is just opening today, Disney has enough confidence in the box office prospects of Oz, The Great And Powerful that they have commissioned its screenwriter Mitchell Kapner to begin developing a sequel to the Wizard Of Oz prequel. Kapner’s original screenplay made the 2010 Black List of hot unproduced screenplays.

Currently the Sam Raimi-directed film is tracking to open to an approximately $80 million weekend at the box office.

As I noted in my review, the film ends with several characters in place for where readers will meet them in L. Frank Baum’s first volume of his classic Oz series of books. But since they are in the public domain, Kapner is free to cherrypick them for ideas and characters to use. This theoretically gives him more room to develop a story than he had with the first film. There’s certainly room for plenty of adventures before Dorothy’s arrival as in the film’s opening Kansas-set section, the future Wizard Oscar Diggs (James Franco), has his heart broken by a woman who is hinted at being the future mother of Dorothy.

Via Variety.

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Review: OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

Posted on 08 March 2013 by Rich Drees

ozgreatandpowerful-thirdposter-fullThe problem with prequels is that they are locked into their endings. Directors may have lots of fun playing with the various toys in the toybox, but they have to make sure that they are all packed away in their proper place and with nothing broken when done. The best that they can do is make sure the journey the film’s characters take is at least exciting and distracting enough so we don’t notice that everything is lacking in overall suspense as to how it will all end.

And such is the problem director Sam Raimi finds himself with with the film Oz, The Great And Powerful. As a prequel to L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s book The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, and to a lesser and non-legal extenant MGM’s 1939 musical adaptation of the same, we know that by the end Kansas circus magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) will be ensconced in the Emerald City as the ruler of the Land of Oz after having incurred the wrath of an evil witch or two. And while Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire’s screenplay does managed to supply some nice character moments and some fun set pieces, it never really brings one to the edge of one’s seat.

Oscar Diggs, Oz to his friends, aspires to greatness but has doubts that he could ever achieve it. But when his twister-tossed hot air balloon sends him to the land OZ where he is greeted by the witches Theodora (Mila Kunis) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz) as the foretold future king of the realm, he sees his prospects changing. All he has to do, he is told by Theodora and Evanora, is kill the evil witch who poisoned the previous ruler of the land – Glinda (Michelle Williams).

Oz_The_Great_and_Powerful_1If you’re familiar at all with the original Wizard Of Oz story than you know that someone is lying about Glinda being a killer and to its credit that movie doesn’t draw out for too long the not-so-mysterious mystery as to whom the real culprit is. What’s more interesting about the film’s screenplay is the repercussions of Oz’s flirtatious nature with one of the sisters and how the other uses it to her advantage. It is an almost Shakespearean turn of events, only undercut by the fact that the actress doesn’t really play it all that well. (I’m not saying whom it is in order to preserve the mystery as to which sister it is.)

If you’re familiar with Raimi’s work in the Evil Dead horror films or even the Spider-Man trilogy and are wondering about how he came to direct a family film for Disney, don’t fret. He still manages to work in a number of his trademarks including some dutch camera angles and frenetic action sequences. Of course, his best friend, cult actor Bruce Campbell, gets a cameo late in the film that is well worth the wait. And if you look a little harder at the story, you’ll realize that in broad strokes it bears a striking similarity to his own film Army Of Darkness. The third installment of the Evil Dead franchise finds its hero thrown back in time where he is greeted as a prophesied savior who will defeat an evil magic and manages to do so with knowledge of technology that the native population does not have. (OK, these are both variations of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, but the comparison still stands.)

Since this is a Disney production, legalities insist that Raimi and company don’t copy things that are intrinsically unique to the classic 1939 MGM The Wizard Of oz. But boy do they dance right on the line of what they can and can not get away with doing. Many of the character and set designs look similar to their 1939 counterparts, though I suppose an argument could be made that they are both based on the initial descriptions provided by Baum in the books. The film even manages a meta-textual joke about their limitations in duplicating elements from the MGM film in the scene where Oz first meets the munchinkins.

Oz_The_Great_and_Powerful_2Even right at the start of things, the film apes the 1939 film’s black and white to color transition that marked Dorothy’s leaving of the mundane world of Kansas and arriving somewhere over the rainbow. But Raimi does things one better by shooting his Kansas sequence in Academy ratio that opens up to wide screen as the color seeps in upon Oz’s arrival in the magical land that bears his name. (Surprisingly, though, this would have been a great moment for the film to transition from 2D to 3D, but the opportunity is allowed to slide past.)

And speaking of the 3D, Raimi manages to take the process and make it feel not so much as something he was forced to use in order to jack up the prices at the ticket booth but make it fun at times. And given that we know that all four main characters will have to survive in order to meet their respective fates in The Wizard Of Oz (bucket of water, farmhouse to the top of the head, etc.), that’s about all we can ask for.

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New Releases: March 8, 2013

Posted on 07 March 2013 by William Gatevackes

ozgreatandpowerful-thirdposter-full1. Oz the Great and Powerful (Disney, 3,912 Theaters, 130 Monutes, Rated PG): Way back in June of 2010, FilmBuffOnline Head Honcho ran down the nine Wizard of Oz themed films in production. It turns out that this film was second behind Witches of Oz/Dorothy and the Witches of Oz in making it to screen, which had life as a TV miniseries and was recut limited release feature film. Later this year, it will be followed the computer animated Dorothy of Oz. The status of the six remaining projects is still up in the air.

Why all the attention for the Emerald City? Why , because it is the perfect mix of being almost universally known from the yearly television airings of the 1939 The Wizard of Oz and also having the original novel–and the character’s and concepts held within–being in the public domain.No rights to pay for a property everyone on the planet has heard of makes and new adaptation of the story that much safer to make. (Note: Any elements introduced in that 1939 film, ranging from the ruby slippers to the Wicked Witch’s skin color is copyright protected. So, expect some changes from that film to this one).

This story follows Oz (James Franco, following Robert Downey Jr and Johnny Depp as the third actor attached to the role in this film), a magician who is transported to a magical land where he finds an assortment of strange and unusual creatures and a number of quite attractive women, one of who will become quite wicked. The magician becomes a wizard, one so great that they presumably will name the world after him.

Rich has already seen the film, and you can find his review right here.

Dead-Man-Down-Poster12. Dead Man Down (FilmDistrict, 2,188 Theaters, 110 Minutes, Rated R): In case travelling to the fantasy world of Oz isn’t your thing, here’s a dual-layered revenge flick for you.

Victor (Colin Farrell) has infiltrated the crime empire of Alphonse (Terrence Howard) in order to get his revenge on the gangster. His revenge is complicated when his neighbor Beatrice (Noomi Rapace, reuniting with her The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo director Neils Arden Opley) witnesses him kill a man. She blackmails Victor to get some revenge for her as well. However, it might just turn out that he might be able to get his revenge and hers at the same time.

One fascinating fact about this film is that this film was partly produced by WWE Studios (formerly WWE Films). That’s WWE as in World Wrestling Entertainment. The company used to be nothing more than a means to an end to get some of their wrestlers feature films while still getting some money from the deal. It appears that they are branching out with this film and next week’s The Call, which do have WWE wrestlers in the cast, but in supporting roles and not as the headliners.

I’m also intrigued by Terrence Howard using the promotional tour for this film as a way to snipe about his experience with Marvel over the Iron Man franchise. I guess it’s only natural considering Iron Man 3 will be out in two months, although Howard really has no need to complain because this film will be out of theaters way before then.

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Super Bowl Trailer: OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

Posted on 03 February 2013 by Rich Drees

oz-the-great-and-powerful-banner-posterHere is the 30-second spot for Sam Raimi’s upcoming Oz: The Great And Powerful featuring James Franco in the title role of this Wizard of Oz prequel.The more I see of this one the more I get excited. Raimi looks like he is going all out.

Oz, The Great And Powerful hits theaters March 8.

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First Trailer: Sam Raimi’s OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Rich Drees

It has been three years since there has been a new film from director Sam Raimi. Not a conspicuously long absence by today’s standards, but for fans like myself, long enough. Last night, Disney released the first trailer for his upcoming film Oz, The Great And Powerful and it looks like a welcome return for the director.

There’s a lot to comment on in the clip, but I’ll only hit upon a few. First off, I love how it looks as if the film will be aping the 1939 MGM classic version of The Wizard Of Oz by starting off in black and white (though the original was sepia tone) and then having color bleed into the picture once James Franco’s Professor Marvel arrives in Oz. Another nice touch is how at that point the film expands on that idea by switching from the screen ratio used in 1939 to modern widescreen. There seems to be other touches that call back to the MGM film as well. I’ll leave you to find them, but I will start you off by pointing out the quick glimpse of one of the Wicked Witch of the West’s palace guards.

If any director is going to have fun with 3D it will be Sam Raimi, and even though the trailer is in 2D, it definitely shows here. From the fire-eater “breaking the frame” in the first moments of the trailer to the shot of the green-skinned arm shooting out towards the viewer at the end, it looks like Raimi is enjoying himself with this film.

Oz, The Great And Powerful will hit theaters next March.

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Bruce Campbell Confirms OZ: GREAT AND POWERFUL Cameo

Posted on 21 December 2011 by Rich Drees

It just doesn’t quite feel like a Sam Raimi-directed film without some sort of cameo from his good friend and Evil Dead series collaborator Bruce Campbell, and when Campbell tweeted last month that he wasn’t going to make an appearance in Raimi’s upcoming Oz: The Great And Powerful, fans were a bit disappointed.

Well, it’s time to turn that frown upside down as the actor has told The Shiznet that he will be in the film after all!

The scene that I shot was a page [of the script] and it took all day. It was great to see the scope of Oz and to see the detail, and the craftsmanship and the professionalism and the incredible stuff that they’re doing visually in every other way.

As always, Campbell plays coy about the nature of his cameo, saying only –

I play a pivotal role. It involves me and Oz – that’s James Franco – and let’s just say that we have a confrontation. It was a very fun role to do actually.

Keep in my that Campbell has jokingly inflated the importance of his roles in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy in the past, going so far as to say that he has been the only actor to ever defeat Spider-Man.

My guess would be that Campbell is probably playing a fellow carnival worker of Franco’s future Wizard of Oz, back in the days before he journeyed from Kansas to that magical land over the rainbow.

We’ll find out when Oz: The Great And Powerful opens on March 8, 2013.

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No Bruce Campbell Cameo In Raimi’s OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

Posted on 11 November 2011 by Rich Drees

Well, I hate to end this week on a down note, but looks like Bruce Campbell will not be making a cameo appearance in friend Sam Raimi’s upcoming Oz: The Great And Powerful after all. The actor let the news out on Twitter earlier today –

Currently in production, Oz: The Great And Powerful stars James Franco as the titular Kansas con-man who arrives in a magical land and finds himself embroiled in the machinations of three sister witches.

Since the two friends broke into the film business together with 1981‘s The Evil Dead, Campbell has made cameo appearances in a number of Raimi’s films that he didn’t happen to be starring in. In Darkman, Campbell appeared as the masked, final appearance of the film’s tragic, titular hero before disappearing into a group of pedestrians. Most famously, he has had small roles in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, always as someone who thwarts Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker. As he jokingly boasts at convention appearances, “I’m the only man who has defeated Spider-Man!” He had previously stated that he would probably have a cameo in Oz.

A Campbell cameo is just one of two trademarks that fans look for in Raimi’s films. The other is the appearance of an old 1973 yellow Oldsmobile Delta 88, the same model that the director once owned. While any car may seem out of place in Oz, remember that Raimi did manage to sneak a disquised Olds into his western The Quick And The Dead, so anything is possible.

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