Getting the ADD-addled Sam Raimi to sit still and concentrate on one project is nothing short of a miracle these days, so congratulations to Disney for getting Raimi to officially sign on to his long-rumored Oz: The Great And Powerful as his next film. Raimi had long been attached to the Wizard Of Oz prequel (just one of many Oz-related rehashes in the pipeline) but had been charmingly coy about commitment, generally behaving like Matthew McConaughey in a romantic comedy. But apparently he finally met his match in Disney, who played just the right tone of hard-to-get that made Raimi look at the studio in a way he’d never looked at a studio before, and I don’t know, bro. Something inside him just changed, and now Raimi’s ready to take the plunge—readier than he’s ever been in his entire life.
As we reported long ago, Robert Downey Jr. is still the frontrunner to play the Wiz as a young charlatan, and although he’s been charmingly coy himself in a The Pick-Up Artist sort of way, he’s said to be warming to the idea now that Raimi is officially on board and the script is in the hands of the esteemed David Lindsay-Abaire—whose adaptation of his own Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole is said to be Nicole Kidman’s great Oscar hope—so it’s looking increasingly likely that he’ll sign on. In fact, Disney has confidently asserted that Oz could start production as early as next year. Does this mean that Raimi won’t be out there on the scene, dogging scripts and having one-week stands with random projects anymore? Maybe, man. Maybe. Everybody’s gotta grow up sometime, you know?