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Robert Downey Jr. to Play New Wizard of Oz!? Say What?

No, calm down, they're not remaking The Wizard of Oz…yet. But Hollywood is interested in making movies that are based on The Wizard of Oz universe. In fact, there are several different Oz-related projects in development, from one that finds Dorothy's granddaughter returning to Oz to fight bad guys to a prequel to the original that follows a young circus magician from Omaha who becomes the ruler of the far off land of Oz after accidentally landing there in his balloon.

Robert Downey Jr.

The film we're talking about today is that prequel, and according to Production Weekly (via their Twitter feed) Robert Downey Jr. has been offered the role of that famous magician-wizard. Obviously it's a pretty sweet gig for the charismatic Downey, and it'll probably be a cool film to watch. I'd be interested to see what they'd do with the land of Oz using today's technology.
I mean, I'm certain it will be in 3D, but will they do an all CG Oz or build practical sets like they did back in the day? I can only imagine the weird creatures they'd dream up – it could be a cool little project depending on the tone and the use of effects. We do know that Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards) wrote the script, and Sam Mendes is in line to direct now that the Bond series is on hold (he was set to direct Bond 23). Mendes, of course, is responsible for films like American Beauty, Jarhead and Away We Go.
What do you think of this take on The Wizard of Oz? Does it sound cool, or should Hollywood stay far away from Oz for good?
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