The bizarre and magical land of Oz, first conceived in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, has been the subject of so many adaptations, from the classic 1939 The Wizard of Oz to the more recent classic Broadway sensation Wicked. Yesterday at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego, the first trailer for Oz: The Great and Powerful was released and even further expanded this enchanted world. Directed by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead and Spider-Man), the film stars James Franco as Oscar Diggs, a small-town magician swept away from Kansas to the land of Oz, where he must use his hocus-pocus to solve the inhabitants' problems and eventually become the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. Also starring as three witches reluctant to accept this newcomer into their world are Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz. Check out the trailer here:
Now the neatest thing about this trailer is definitely the black-and-white throwback to old Hollywood aspect ratios in the first half. Later on, the trailer tells us that Sam Raimi was a producer on Alice in Wonderland, and then reveals to us an almost carbon-copy landscape of the 2009 film. This is where problems begin for me with this film. The candy-bright color pallet can only look so good before it becomes sensory overload and starts turning into rainbow puke. It's bold and flashy and in-your-face, and at times, I wish these live-action Disney films would go the more subtle route in terms of visuals. As for the “in-your-face” part, the 3D in this film looks like it's designed to throw random objects at you every so often, which isn't exactly how good 3D technology should be utilized. In spite of all these odds working against the film, I do hope it does well. It's got a stellar cast (did I mention Zach Braff, better known as J.D. from Scrubs,will be in it?) and a fantastic director. Oz: The Great and Powerful is set for release on March 8, 2013 in theaters everywhere.