After a strenuous casting period that saw a handful of Hollywood’s elite come and go, it looks like Sam Raimi’s Oz, The Great and Powerful is finally ready to take off in that hot air balloon. Variety reports that the final key role in the picture, that of Glinda the Good, has been set: Michelle Williams will take the part. She joins Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis as the third witch at the center of the narrative, which tells of how a snake-oil salesman became the ruler of Oz.
James Franco is re-teaming with his Spider-Man director on the David Lindsay Abaire-penned picture (which also had a pass by Mitchell Kapner). It’s been in the works for such a long time I’ve nearly forgotten about it as numerous high-profile fantasy pics have stolen its thunder, but with a dream team of talent on board (including Alice in Wonderland producer Joe Roth), Oz is sure to stake its claim over the late 2012 box office, especially now that Snow White is no longer a competitor (both of the films based on that beloved character will now bow in the summer of next year).
I must say I’m surprised Williams took such a glitzy role; she has avoided major studio projects throughout most of her career, with the one recent exception being Shutter Island (no one turns down Scorsese, NO ONE). She must see something worthwhile in Oz’ script, which is a good sign for us fans.