Sam Raimi to Direct Downey Jr. in 'Wizard of Oz' Prequel

Well, boys and girls, it looks like this Wizard of Oz prequel is shaping up to be quite the project. Deadline reports that Spider-Man director Sam Raimi has hopped onboard Oz: The Great and Powerful, which will star Robert Downey Jr. in an origin story about the all-powerful Wizard; where he came from, and how he wound up becoming, well, the Wizard of Oz.

Sam Raimi

Disney looks to be putting together this one pretty fast because they want to get ahead of some of the other Oz-related projects also in development. The studio wants to turn this into the next Alice in Wonderland, so we can expect the film to arrive in 3D, and I wouldn't be surprised if they played around with Oz and included some characters who were motion-capture. No word yet on whether the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man will make cameo appearances, though I imagine they will.
While it's tough to see Hollywood playing around with a universe we hold so close to our hearts, I actually think Disney could do some wonderful things with a film like this, expanding upon the Oz we already know by introducing new characters and locations we've never seen before. Plus, you've got Robert Downey Jr. as the Wizard and Sam Raimi behind the camera – it doesn't get any better than that, folks.
What do you think of Sam Raimi directing a Wizard of Oz prequel? Do you feel better knowing there's some top-notch talent involved now? Or should Hollywood stay away from all things related to The Wizard of Oz?
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