OZ the Great & Powerful: The Story Before Dorothy

Following the baseline of the original The Wizard of Oz, Walt Disney takes on its own version, Oz the Great and Powerful. Sam Raimi, Director, projects his own vision for a new take on the 1939 film.

The film has a whimsical air about it with no shortage of magic. The main character is Oscar Diggs, played by James Franco. Diggs starts the movie as a small-town magician with many character flaws.

“He starts off as selfish and a bit of a womanizer; it blinds him of the love of the people around him” Franco said.

Throughout the film, Diggs runs into many magical characters that lead to many twists in the story line. Three witches, played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams, are curious why he was brought to the Land of Oz.

Oz the Great and Poweful is a mix of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. While many of the characters were in doubt that Alice was the one and only Alice, the same goes for the characters in Raimi’s Oz the Powerful and Great.

When Franco was brought the script for the film, he was curious as to how Disney would make his role different than the ones played predominately by women in comparable films.

“I wanted to make sure it was not a male version of Dorothy” Franco said, “Because he [Oscar Diggs] was pretending to be someone he’s not, he gets himself into a lot of strange situations.”

While it is a combination of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, Franco also spoke about his concern with the new and refreshing film and about getting himself into character.

“I want to make sure they were being loyal to certain things about Oz and that it had a fresh take on it” Franco said, “I have to figure out what that that role is and how I best fit into that role.”

Oz the Great and Powerful certainly has its share of epic problems that face Diggs. Raimi had the vision to teach the audience through a storyline instead of in the classroom.

“The best thing stories can do for us is show us the way without preaching and teaching. There is a simple beauty in friends coming together and that is what this movie is about” Raimi said.

Teamwork was apparent in the film between Raimi and Franco, which started with their time together throughout the Spiderman trilogy.

“I have known Sam for over 10 years, he is one of my favorite directors to work with, when I was with him in Spider-Man I was a supporting character…Sam identifies with my character now so I felt his love working on this film” Franco said.

This transforming film touches on all magical ends of the spectrum. Following the magician and conman, Diggs, and his journey through Oz, it is a guarantee new take on a Disney film.

Oz the Great and Powerful comes to theatres on March 8.

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