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Having already dropped out of Gravity, the intensely busy Robert Downey Jr. is bailing out on another high profile film. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop that Downey is no longer involved with Oz, The Great and Powerful for Disney and director Sam Raimi, despite his longtime though never official attachment to the project.
With Downey out of the picture, Disney is looking to fill the Oscar-nominated actor’s shoes as quickly as they can. But they might not have to look far: THR reports that Johnny Depp, already a well-known quantity to Disney thanks to his work on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the forthcoming The Lone Ranger adaptation and last year’s Alice in Wonderland, is the frontrunner to take over the Oz role from Downey.
At this point, it’s a not-so-simple matter of scheduling: Depp and Tim Burton are supposedly filming the long-developing Dark Shadows this spring, and the actor also has Lone Ranger to consider. With Disney wanting to shoot Oz before 2011 is over, does Depp have time to waltz down the yellow brick road without impacting one of his other commitments — one of which, The Lone Ranger, is already an in-development Disney project?