“Follow Yellow Brick Road! Follow Follow Follow The Yellow Brick Road!” That’s what Michelle Williams will be doing as she joins the cast for Sam Raimi’s OZ, The Great And The Powerful. Variety are reporting that the Blue Valentine star will play Glinda, the good Witch, in this Disney re-imaging / prequel to classic Wizard Of Oz movie (which starred the legendary Judy Garland away back in 1939).Williams will join James Franco (who took over from Johnny Depp), as the soon to be Wizard of Oz. Mila Kunis will play Theodora, the wicked witch of the West and Rachel Wiesz conversely with play Evanora, the wicked witch of the East.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Raimi though; It was originally reported that he wanted Hilary Swank to play Glinda but Disney wanted Williams and as we can see, they succeeded. We don’t actually know if Hilary Swank wanted the part nor or what happened behind the scenes, but you can say that there was a bit of pressure from Disney to choose Williams.
The movie will follow the story of Franco’s character, a snake oil businessman that lands in the land of Oz and parades himself as a magician. He teams up with Glinda, who is in a power struggle for control of the kingdom against her sisters; Theodora and Evanora. It’s also interesting to point out that in the original story there were only two sisters!
Oz, The Great and the Powerful will be one of Disney’s main tent pole movies for 2012, so the choice of Williams may be seen as an unusal one; due to her indie movie credentials compared with Swank who has been a more commercial blockbuster actress. Michelle Williams is a fearless, talented actress and will bring value to the film; playing such as iconic role might be seen as a daunting task, but maybe having Williams on board will that extra appeal that you may not get with Swank.
Oz,The Great and The Powerful is one of several Wizard of Oz related movies coming very soon. The story does look similar in ways to the West End, theatre show, Wicked which is also about to be turned in to a movie; But, expect that to probably come after Oz, which has been scheduled for a Autumn 2012 release.