Thesp in talks for Sam Raimi prequel

Rachel Weisz is close to landing the role of the lead evil witch Evanora in Disney’s “Oz, the Great and Powerful.”

Actress is in the midst of negotiations for the role, which would have her play the oldest of three sisters. Character is instrumental in coaxing Mila Kunis’ Theodora to help her take control of the magical land of Oz.

“Oz,” which Sam Raimi starts helming this summer, is a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.”

James Franco portrays the prequel’s titular character, a fast-talking snake oil salesman and illusionist who flees a traveling circus and is whisked away in a hot air balloon by a tornado to Oz, where he must face off against the sisters and their power struggle.

Mitchell Kapner penned the “Oz” script, which has since been revised by David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rabbit Hole”). Joe Roth (“Alice in Wonderland”) produces. No release date has yet been set, but Disney is eager to have “Oz” follow in the footsteps of “Alice,” which broke the $1 billion mark at the B.O.

Weisz recently wrapped Universal’s “Dream House,” opposite Daniel Craig, and Film4’s “The Deep Blue Sea,” with Tom Hiddleston (“Thor”).

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