Disney didn’t waste any time last week, and quickly announced that there would be a sequel to the sort-of-prequel Oz the Great and Powerful. The Sam Raimi-directed fantasy is the first big money-maker of the 2013, so Disney would be foolish to skip out on this cash cow. Obviously. While we don’t know where the story will go next, Mr. Raimi has already announced his retirement from the soon-to-be franchise.
While doing press for Oz, the filmmaker told Bleeding Cool, that he won’t return for the sequel.
“I haven’t planned on directing the sequel. I did leave some loose ends for another director if they want to make the picture. I tried to make it a complete ending, so that the audience would be fulfilled, but I also let Evenora and Theodora get away.”
It’s worth it to point out that when Raimi was asked this question, he probably wasn’t 100% sure that Disney would make a sequel (these things do depend on how well the first film does at the box office after all). But he’s been around long enough to know that a franchise was the ultimate goal.
Raimi mentioned that he was attracted to Oz, but didn’t think “the second one would have the thing” he would need to get him interested.
A sequel that Raimi is interested in, however, is Evil Dead 4, or as his long-time producer Robert Tapert recently called it Army of Darkness 2.
According to /Film, Tapert made some clarifications about the sequels while attending SXSW this past weekend.
“That would be Army of Darkness 2. Everybody calls it Evil Dead 4 but Army of Darkness wasn’t called Evil Dead anywhere except by the fans.”
Tapert was less clear about Raimi’s involvement in the sequel. He said:
“Sam threatens this every six months. I’ve heard this a thousand times, because in the back of his mind, he never wants to let go, because he loved making these movies. We all loved making them together. They were a nightmare to make, very difficult, but they lasted the test of time, so he’s not going to let that go, and I’m never going to say ‘no.’ It’ll be me and a walker fighting some other old guy. But that’s what he does and who knows? It may happen.”
The A.V. Club notes that Raimi isn’t too eager about returning to said franchise, but is getting a lot of push by the fans. Whether he decides to direct the sequel or not, it’s nice to know that he won’t be busy with another Oz… though that can always change if the numbers are right.
Are you disappointed Raimi won’t be returning for the Oz sequel? What are your feelings towards Army of Darkness 2?