The story and characters of Oz might be sacred to most, but James Franco says the big screen prequel to the iconic story – “Oz: The Great And Powerful” – will satisfy fans while putting a new spin on the classic tale.
“It’s going very, very well,” he said of the Sam Raimi-directed Oz movie, while promoting his current movie, “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” in Los Angeles on Sunday.
“I’ve been in Detroit for almost a month now and we were rehearsing for quite a while and we’ve been shooting for about a week and it’s going very, very well,” he told Access. “I am playing the Wizard of Oz, but if you’ll remember, the Wizard in the original 1939 film is an older man, so it’s another great opportunity to kind of do a new rendition on a franchise or a tradition, but it’s in a fresh way.”
The 33-year-old actor understands the importance of appeasing the story’s massive fan base, but since this story is a prequel, James said some of the rules go out the window.
“There are no real expectations of how the younger version of Oz should be,” he explained. “I do follow a tradition, but I also have a certain amount of freedom to create the character.”
As for what a young Wizard of Oz will look like, James said picture him super retro!
“The original book came out in 1900,” he told Access, “A lot of it will kind of take place a 100 years ago, so if you can imagine that kind of suit.”
“Oz: The Great And Powerful,” also starring Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams – is slated to hit theaters in 2013.