Downey Jr Leaves OZ, Will Depp Take His Place?

Robert Downey Jr. has dropped out of director Sam Raimi’s Wizard Of Oz prequel Oz, The Great And Powerful leaving studio Disney to open up discussions with Johnny Depp to fill Downey’s vacated role.

This is the second project that Downey has dropped out of in recent months. Back in November the actor backed out of appearing in Alfonso Cauron’s science-fiction thriller Gravity. Outside of his commitment to The Avengers which begins production in a few weeks, Downey has apparently been freeing up the rest of his 2011. Is it possible that the actor is eying an unannounced project that will shoot then?

Although they have no firm start date for Oz, Disney is hoping to have the film in production at some point in the second half of the year. Already in pre-production, the studio has reportedly just hired a unit production manager for the show.

If Depp seals a deal with Disney, a late 2011 start date would allow the actor to move right onto Oz after completing his work on director Tim Burton’s adaptation of the classic 60s Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, which is scheduled to film this spring. Depp is also set to star in Disney’s adaptation of The Lone Ranger for Disney with his Pirates Of The Caribbean collaborator Gore Verbinski, though it appears as if that project is not as far through the development process as Oz is.

Via The Hollywood Reporter.

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About Rich Drees 7219 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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