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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