'Oz The Great and Powerful' (Photo: Walt Disney Pictures)
It's not your father's "Wizard Of Oz," but with the man who created "The Evil Dead" and came up with the definitive screen "Spider Man" in the director's chair, the new movie based on Frank L. Baum's tales of the Land of Oz certainly has a look and a style all its own.
Disney presented a thirty-second spot for the eagerly awaited "Oz the Great and Powerful" during Super Bowl XLVII, and while one learned only so much about the film's story, director Sam Raimi's knack for wildly imaginative visuals, aided by lots of CGI this time out, makes the film look like it's going to be serious eye candy.
Watch the Super Bowl spot for 'Oz The Great and Powerful':
At least one area where "Oz The Great and Powerful" will follow the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" is in the black-and-white opening sequence, in which James Franco's Oscar Diggs, a magician, is caught in a storm that transports him to a strange netherworld. One Diggs lands and full color kicks in, Raimi has a field day, with Diggs traveling through a richly textured and sometimes forbidding landscape, complete with collapsing land bridges, strange creatures that float in bubbles, and magical personages. The trailer offering glimpses of a saintly Michelle Williams as Glinda, a more adventurous Rachel Weisz as Evandora, and Mila Kunis's Theodora, who is a safe bet to be the most evil of the bunch.
"Oz the Great and Powerful" is clearly going to draw on the more adventurous side of Baum's books, rather than the more polished approach of the Judy Garland vehicle we all grew up with, but Raimi's adaptation, with a stellar cast working beside him, has the potential to move the Oz stories into the 21st Century while staying true to Baum's classic vision.