Disney Sets 'Oz: The Great And Powerful' For March 2013

Briefly: In February we talked about how the start of the summer movie season has essentially been pulled back from Memorial Day weekend to early March. Next year continues that trend as March 2012 is packed with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, John Carter, The Hunger Games, Clash of the Titans 2 and now Relativity's Snow White film. Disney looks like it wants to continue the early summer trend in 2013, as the studio has just dated Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful for March 8, 2013.

But expect some release date shuffling to take place, because Oz has some big competition on March 8, 2013. That's when Neill Blomkamp's second film Elysium has been dated by Sony. Given that March has become a tentpole playground, does Disney actually want this date, or is this the beginning of a power play against Sony?

Oz has James Franco as the circus magician who is whisked away to Oz, where he is set upon the path to becoming the Wizard of Oz. Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams are looking like the trio of witchy sisters with which he becomes entangled. Expect some more casting to be announced soon; the film shoots in July in Michigan. [Deadline]