Disney seeks more March magic for ‘Oz’

March 8, 2013, release follows 'Wonderland' model

Disney hopes to conjure the same March magic that charmed 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland,” dating “Oz: The Great and Powerful” for a March 8, 2013, release.

“Alice” launched on March 5, 2010, to a record-setting $116 million and went on to become one of the biggest worldwide grossers, crossing $1 billion.

Those are some big slippers for “Oz” stars James Franco and Mila Kunis to fill, but Disney clearly has high hopes for the digital 3D film. Pic is a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” focusing on the so-called wizard — actually a circus magician — who accidentally lands in the Land of Oz and is treated like a wizard by the colorful locals. Franco will play Oz, with Kunis as Theodora, one of three witch sisters.

Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz are in negotiations to play the other sisters, Glinda and Evanora, respectively.

“Oz” is directed by Sam Raimi with a script penned by David Lindsay-Abaire. Joe Roth is producing, along with Josh Donen and Grant Curtis also part of the producing account. Pic begins lensing late July in Michigan.

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