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Sam Raimi is working on a Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz, the Great and Powerful, as many of you know. James Franco will star as the future behind-the-curtain ruler of Emerald City, as he is swept off to the land of Oz in his hot air balloon. The fairy tale world is ruled by a pair of scheming wicked witches, whom our hero will take the fight to.
The witches haven’t been cast yet, but some ideas are being floated around for at least one of the roles. Raimi has his eye on Hilary Swank, a two-time Oscar winner for her performances in Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby. Disney, on the other hand, wants Blue Valentine star Michelle Williams. The differing opinions have apparently led to the rise of tensions between the director and the studio, Vulture reports.
There’s no word on how far things have progressed, though Disney is reportedly “strongly opposed” to Raimi’s pick. Why the studio wouldn’t jump at a two-time Oscar winner for a role she could probably nail blindfolded is a mystery, though there’s probably more to this story than we’re hearing.
That said, Disney: heed the lessons learned from the Spider-Man trilogy. Let Raimi have his way, the results will probably be good-to-fantastic. Meddle too much in his affairs and you end up with an emo Peter Parker and a shoehorned treatment of Venom. Just saying.