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"The Great and Powerful Oz" has not been an easy film for Disney to make, but as they kick their campaign for the film into a higher gear, they're doing their very best to send out an air of confidence about it.
This new trailer certainly shows us more of the world than we've seen before, and it's pretty plain why earlier trailers couldn't show us any of this stuff. In a movie where so much of the environment and so many of the characters are computer generated, it's hard to have footage ready to show early. Even now, I'm betting we're seeing much of the finished work, and the movie itself still has a lot of rendering and final tweaking to do before it's ready. There's also a heavy emphasis this time around on Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz as the various witches of Oz, and all I can say about that line-up is that Sam Raimi has exquisite taste.
For a film that has to be based on the Frank L. Baum books and not the classic 1939 film for legal reasons, this sure does look like the 1939 film. Much of the iconography seems to have been lifted directly from the classic Warner Bros. version of the story, including that spooky shot of the Wicked Witch that I pulled the image from that is at the top of this story. The Munchkins, the Emerald City, the Flying Monkeys… these are all very recognizable here.
Having not read the script, I have real insight into how the story works, but it looks to me like Rachel Weisz is the one who finally goes full-blown green skin bad guy crazy. I'm pretty sure there's a shot towards the end of the trailer of her battling Michelle Williams, who is playing Glinda, the good witch. There's just something about the vibe Weisz gives off in the trailer that makes me think she's the villain of the piece. Disney seems to be playing that as a mystery, though, so maybe there's something more to it that I'm missing. Judge for yourself as you check out the trailer:
It's a little disconcerting to see how much this looks like Tim Burton's "Alice In Wonderland," a film I'll be discussing with my therapist for years to come. I hope the reports of a troubled production that I've been hearing don't affect the final film. I would love to see Sam Raimi pull off something magical with this one, and I have an affection for the "Oz" novels, so a good "Oz" film is always something worth celebrating. One thing's for sure… Disney is betting big on this. Will that gamble pay off?
We'll know when "Oz The Great and Powerful" arrives in theaters March, 2013.