James Franco in talks for ‘Oz’

Oscar-nominated actor James Franco is the latest actor to circle the lead role in Disney’s prequel to the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz” called “Oz, the Great and Powerful.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the prequel tells of a circus performer who is transported through a tornado to the mysterious land of Oz, where he is mistaken for the all-knowing Wizard.

Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp have both passed on the lead.

Sam Raimi is attached to direct the film with Joe Roth producing.

Franco and Raimi have a history, having collaborated on Sony’s “Spider-Man” films.

Disney is aiming for the “Oz” prequel to be a franchise in the wake of “Alice in Wonderland” grossing $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

The studio is looking to begin production later in the year with a 2013 release date in mind. Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.