James Franco, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams star in the Oz, The Great and Powerful trailer

James Franco and Mila Kunis in Oz, The Great and Powerful

Most of what comes out of Comic-Con is only interesting to people who are there to see it firsthand, but occasionally we get some gems like the first trailer for OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL.  The film follows the exploits of the “Wizard of Oz” (played by James Franco), before the famous movie/story we all know and love.  As you can see from the first trailer, Disney is hoping the dazzling special effects and 3D will entice audiences into the theater.  And if I didn’t know any better and I saw this trailer for the first time, I would swear that it’s a Tim Burton film.  But no, it’s from director Sam Raimi, who is responsible for the first three Spider-Man films.

It was easy to be skeptical of the film since Sam Raimi hasn’t directed a big budget, mainstream movie that didn’t have Spider-Man selling tickets.  Not only that, but James Franco was eventually cast in the lead after Disney failed to convince Robert Downey Jr. to take the part.  James Franco is a talented actor as he displayed so brilliantly in 127 HOURS, but he’s also very inconsistent with his performances.  Combining that with a story that I’m not convinced people want to see and Disney might have a risky movie on their hands.  Not “JOHN CARTER” risky, but a risk none the less.

With all of that said, the first trailer for the film looks great, at least visually speaking.  I loved the effect of switching to widescreen once Oscar Diggs (James Franco) gets to Oz.  It’s a nice homage to the original film and made sense in the context of the trailer.  The film stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Bruce Campbell, Joey King and Zach Braff.  OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL won’t hit theaters until March 8th, 2013.

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