The Oz the Great and Powerful panel started with a montage of great scenes from other Raimi movies, before moderator Chris Hardwick introduced the man himself, and asked him to tell us a bit about the movie. “It’s really the story of the the wizard. It’s who the wizard was. It’s a story about a selfish man, not a great guy at first, but by the time he gets to Oz, he’s really like a man of second chances. He’s influenced by friends, a very admirable love, and it becomes a little bit more about selflessness. He’s a magician who lacks a lot in social skills. He’s a little bit of a limited character in the beginning. then his life becomes untenable. He’s an adulterer, he’s chased, he takes a balloon, and the balloon gets caught up by a tornado… “
Hardwick introduced Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis, who explained a bit about their characters. Williams plays Glinda – “she’s the only one who notices the best in Oz; his selfish natures makes that very difficult.” Kunis plays Theodora, “the first partner that Oz encounters when he gets to the land. She is incredibly sweet and incredibly naïve and just so believes that he is the one.”
Chris Hardwick asked Kunis if there was a lot of green screen work in the movie. “People think that it was all green screen but it wasn’t. Sets were built. The castles were there, Emerald City was there, the woods were there, so everything was there in front of you. Walking onto Glinda’s castle was one of the more magical spaces in my life. It was so truly blessed and beautiful. Emerald City was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
In response to fan questions, Raimi stated that “the ruby slippers were really unique to the 1939 classic.” They couldn’t use imagery that was unique to the movie, they could only use elements from the books. In addition, Scarecrow and the Tin Man are not part of the movie. This movie takes place before the setting of the Wizard of Oz book and movie setting. “It’s really about the wizard, how he became a great man, how he arrived at Emerald City, how he becomes the protector of the city… Idt starts with the great descriptions from the Baum books. … but we have a truly original world, the 3d really helped us with that. I think it nods its head to images you’re familiar with.”
For those of you who know what this means (I had to look it up),” the 1973 oldsmobile “The Classic” is in the picture, playing “a very challenging role. It’s not seen in its original form, it had to be changed to fit in the Land of Oz; its camshaft is used to play another role.” And in response to a fan question about his work developing The Shadow, Raimi stated that “we never got the screenplay just right, and I didn’t want to try to embark on something with that character unless it was perfect.”
Make sure to check out the great new trailer that we got to see, here. Unfortunately for you, it probably won’t make your chest wall vibrate like it did for those of us in Hall H. Gotta love those accoustics. But it looks like it will be a terrific movie, and I’ll definitely want to see it in the theater when it premieres in March.
When Oscar Diggs (Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot — fame and fortune are his for the taking — that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity — and even a bit of wizardry — Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
Oz the Great and Powerful is slated to hit theaters on March 8th, 2013.