Sam Raimi’s Oz, The Great and Powerful is casting up and Mila Kunis has now signed on, according to Variety. She’ll be joining James Franco, who’s starring as the titular wizard. The film is a prequel to the classic L. Frank Baum novel and film The Wizard of Oz, and Kunis will play Theodora, a young witch who’s rebuffed by Oz and turns wicked. The film is at Walt Disney studios, and currently has no release date.
Having gone through a long run in television with “That 70′s Show”, Kunis has now blossomed into a credible leading lady. She pulled romantic comedy leading lady duties in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and in the upcoming Friends with Benefits, and showed that she was game for anything in Black Swan. She’s been a strong on-screen presence, and is now one of the top choices for roles in her age range.
That said, making a prequel to The Wizard of Oz is – on paper – such a terrible idea. The 1939 film works because the land of Oz is pure fantasy, and turning it into a real place seems to squander what made the work so special. Then again, it’s not as if Baum himself didn’t sequelize the material.
Between Raimi, Franco and Kunis this is a project with a lot of talent, and if it crafts its own world it could be exciting to see them play with witches and magic. Franco and Kunis were recently paired in the film Date Night.
Will you be off to see the Wizard?