Director Sam Raimi’s new film “Oz the Great and Powerful,” starring James Franco, pays tribute to the much beloved Land of Oz and its audience. Speaking out about his inspiration for the movie in a recent conference call, Raimi said his own vision for Oz came from a combination of classic Oz books, the book’s illustrations by W.W. Denslow and, of course, the 1939 cinema classic, “The Wizard of Oz.”
“All of us broken, lonely individuals have within us the thing to make us complete if we only recognize it,” Raimi said. “There’s a simple beauty in loving another person and friends coming together in being selfless.”
Franco, who plays Oscar Diggs — the character that eventually becomes the Wizard — also spoke about his character’s inner struggle between good and evil.
“His character starts off as a flawed man,” he said. “He’s selfish, he’s a bit of a womanizer. He thinks that happiness will come from financial success and fame.”
Franco also discussed his initial uncertainty toward taking on the iconic role of the Wizard, especially having been an Oz fan himself.
“I wanted to be sure that they had a sound approach,” he said. “I was already hopeful because Sam [Raimi] was involved, and he’s just one of the best directors. But I wanted to be sure that they were being loyal to certain things about Oz that people expect and then also had a fresh take on it.”
As for the other characters, Raimi said he looked for the actors he believed could portray the characters’ multi-dimensional personalities. He cited Mila Kunis, whose character Theodora is a woman with both innocent and wicked sides, a combination Raimi looks for in his actresses.
“I saw this real positive vibe that she put out as this Hawaiian hotel clerk,” Raimi said about Kunis’ role in the 2008 comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” “I thought, there is an innocent positive force, I believe she could play Theodora. And then when I saw the brilliant ‘Black Swan,’ where she had this real dark and nasty witchy quality, that told me that she could play the other half of the role.”
Raimi also hired Danny Elfman to compose the score, which helped tie together the story of “Oz.”
“[Elfman] took the emotions that were in the movie and he elevated them,” Raimi said, pointing out the composer’s love theme that strengthens the relationship between Oscar and Michelle Williams’ character, Annie. “He took the drama and he deepened it. He basically made everything better. He was the secret sauce that brings it to the next level. That was the best part for me, to see the movie whole and be made better and be brought together.”
- Weekend Roam: Little Germany
- WSN Editorial Board reflects on spring semester events
- Strawberry Festival promises delicious, intergalactic fun
- Clive Davis Institute collaborates with DJ Swivel
- Best places to dine on dumplings
- 'Heroes' is not super enough for Xbox Live film program launch
- NYU SLAM sees victory through 'badidas' campaign
- Victoria Ettore elected student council president
- Hester Street Fair hosts diverse vendors, delicious food