Raimi Could Be Headed to OZ
While I don’t classify director Sam Raimi so high as to call him one of the greatest filmmakers working today, I do consider him one of my favorites, primarily because he makes well-made films that fit within his realm of interest and makes them (in most cases) with a passion that is evident to fans holding a similar passion for film.
For roughly eight years, Sam Raimi dominated a portion of fans’ fantastical minds with his interpretation of Marvel SPIDER-MAN franchise, delivering three films before finally bowing out last year to pursue other projects. This would be the second major trilogy Raimi has helmed, the first (of course) being the EVIL DEAD trilogy, still a massively influential body of work on the horror genre.
So, hopping backwards to the previously stated truth that Raimi is moving on, the question still remains… What will he move onto next? At first, it was thought DRAG ME TO HELL was a less stressful side project for fun –a vacation film, if you will– prior to jumping into SPIDER-MAN 4, but alas… that’s not to be. Then, we found out he signed on to develop a film adaptation of the insanely popular online computer fantasy game WORLD OF WARCRAFT.
Now, according to Vulture, Raimi may end up being selected as the “man behind the curtain” of Disney’s OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL… a prequel to MGM’s 1939 immortal classic THE WIZARD OF OZ. Raimi has been rumored to be one of two primary contenders for the director’s chair, alongside Adam Shankman (director of THE PACIFIER and BEDTIME STORIES). Reports suggest that Sam Raimi has received an official offer on Friday, June 11, 2010 to helm the film that would lead us into the 1939 classic.
At this point, there’s still just too much speculation involved around which project Sam Raimi will pursue next. Currently, it appears to be a two-way race between WORLD OF WARCRAFT and OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. Then again, he may end up finding yet another project to fall in love with before it’s all said and done. Raimi is quite possibly one of the hardest working filmmakers in Hollywood, unbelievably also active as a producer on several other projects including PRIEST (currently in post-production) and projects in development such as MONSTER ZOO, THE SHADOW and 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA… to name a few.
As for my own take on this news… if this OZ prequel is to happen, I think Sam Raimi would be a great choice for bringing the vision to the big screen with an effective and creative imagination. Short of Tim Burton, who unfortunately is experiencing a lull in artistically accomplished (and unoriginal) films, Raimi is the only other filmmaker with the unique and uninhibited eye towards the playfully dark side of storytelling that would be necessary for a film such as this.