In October 2011, I got to visit the wonderful world of Oz and watch director Sam Raimi direct his preboot (prequel/reboot) of the classic L. Frank Baum book series. I learned much on the set of Oz: The Great and Powerful. Most fascinating to me was some of the things Disney had to do satisfy legal concerns over possibly violating copyrighted imagery from the classic 1939 film adaptation, owned by Warner Bros.

And while trailers for the film focus on wholly computer-generated worlds and characters, you might be shocked to learn the lengths that Sam Raimi went through to shoot a lot of the film practically. For example, it was interesting to see Raimi inventing new practical solutions to help the supporting actors create and react to live performances for characters who would eventually be created in CG — and I’m not talking about performance capture.

After the jump you can watch a video blog we recorded talking about the visit, followed by many more things I learned while on the set.

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A few weeks ago, Disney dropped a striking poster featuring the Wicked Witch of the West, adding fuel to the ongoing debate about whether it’s Evanora (Rachel Weisz) or Theodora (Mila Kunis) who goes green in Oz: The Great and Powerful. A new batch of posters doesn’t answer that question, but it does give us a closer look at who the individual players in the movie are. Hit the jump to see individual characters for Evanora, Theodora, Glinda (Michelle Williams), and of course, the Wizard himself (James Franco).

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So far, most of Disney’s promos for Oz: The Great and Powerful have played up the lush fantasy world created by Sam Raimi, or perhaps the epic tale of James Franco‘s Oscar Diggs. The newest featurette, however, delves into the movie’s more comedic aspects.

Or perhaps that should be “comedic,” in quotes, since the jokes are more groanworthy than funny. And they’re definitely not any better when delivered by a CG flying monkey. On the bright side, the video does offer some better insight into who the three witches (played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams) are, and what makes each one tick. Watch it after the jump.

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This March, Sam Raimi takes us off to meet the Wizard, who’ll become the wonderful Wizard of Oz. Oz the Great and Powerful opens March 8 and stars James Franco as a Kansas magician who is whisked off to the magical land of Oz and forced to help save it from a trio of feuding witches, played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams.

The new full length trailer has just been released and in it you’ll catch a glimpse at just how massive and bright Raimi’s movie is. Check it out below. Read More »

The Oz: The Great and Powerful poster released last week was nothing short of a disaster, but thankfully it seems like that was the exception, not the rule. The stills revealed earlier this week were all quite pretty, and this new poster featuring the leads (James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz) isn’t looking so bad either.

This poster, combined with the two previous ones, combine to form a triptych that shows off the verdant magical landscape, the central characters, and the oddball creatures they encounter along the way. Hit the jump to get a look at both the new poster and the full banner in advance of the new trailer drop tomorrow.

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Your trip to Sam Raimi‘s Oz is just a few short months away. Oz The Great and Powerful, Raimi’s prequel to The Wizard of Oz, has long felt miles away. But after a crazy summer at the movies and a promising fall, the film’s March 2013 release has crept up on us. That means a whole new onslaught of marketing, which recently started with some new posters. Now eight new images have been released that show the epic scope of Raimi’s interpretation of Oz, and several of the film’s stars (James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz) in all their wonderful glory. Check them out after the jump along with a few new quotes from the star and director. Read More »

Bad looks pretty good in Sam Raimi‘s Oz. The director’s new film is Oz: The Great and Powerful, which tells of a corrupt, salacious magician (James Franco) who escapes a predicament by balloon, and is swept away to the magical land of Oz. There he meets three witches, Glinda (Michelle Williams), Theodora (Mila Kunis), and Evanora (Rachel Weisz).

Disney is starting to show off the witches, with a planned release of three posters, one for each. Below you’ll find a sheet featuring one of the two wicked sisters, Theodora and Evanora, aka the Wicked Witches of the West and East. But is it Kunis or Weisz in the poster? We’ve seen images of both women in the film looking a lot more… normal… than the woman in the poster below. But the image really calls back to Margaret Hamilton’s classic film depiction of the Wicked Witch of the West. Take a look for yourself and determine who this is.  Read More »

Briefly: Paul Haggis is looking to follow his thriller The Next Three Days with a drama called Third Person, and he is assembling an impressive cast for the film. Offers are out to Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde (both of whom had small roles in The Next Three Days) and now Haggis says the production is also in talks with Mila Kunis, Casey Affleck, James Franco and Moran Atias to fill out the rest of the film’s major roles. Read More »

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