Disney is expecting big things from this week’s 3D extravaganza “Oz the Great and Powerful.” So big that according to Variety, they already are planning a sequel. Word is that they’ve already booked Mitchell Kapner, who wrote the first draft of the “Oz” script before David Lindsay-Abaire did a rewrite.
So far the reviews of “Oz” have pretty much said things like “Oz is neither Great nor Powerful,” but Disney seems to think the movie will be review proof. Others think so, too–Hollywood Stock Exchange is predicting a $79.5 million opening weekend, comparable to Disney’s big 3D success “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010.
“Oz the Great and Powerful” is Kapner’s own original story; there’s no word about whether the sequel will again be his story or whether it will tap into any of the many other “Oz” books written by L. Frank Baum after the success of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” or his successor, Ruth Plumly Thompson. There’s also no word whether it will involve characters–or actors–from the current movie. Those actors include James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff and Joey King; Sam Raimi directs.
As for timing, I’m sure Disney is now busy trying to figure out how they can time this movie for an off year for their other new cash cow franchise, “Star Wars” and the many films they have attached to that.