October 21, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Disney sets “Oz” for 2013; Will Franco take the lead?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It has become a full-time job watching studios jockey for move release date real estate. You could write an entire column about the battle for placement between rival “Snow White” features, which keep moving their dates forward with no regard for legitimate production schedules. And not tentpole pictures are circling key dates … in 2013!

That’s when Disney plans to release Sam Raimi’s “Oz, the Great and Powerful,” according to THR, even though no one has been cast in the lead role. James Franco reportedly is circling the project, a 3D prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” that would cast the one-time Oscar host as a young wizard swept up in a tornado and transported to the magical realm of munchkins and warring witches. But no casting has been announced.

As for “Oz,” it’s penciled in for a March 8 release date. Does that mean the summer season is shifting from May to March, because if you are signing Raimi to do an “Oz” prequel, this better be to blockbuster size.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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