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Sam Raimi talks Oz The Great And Powerful at Comic-Con

Oz: The Great & Powerful

Story by Jack Foley

SAM Raimi has been talking about the challenge of making Oz The Great & Powerful and why he was initially sceptical about taking it on.

Speaking at Comic-Con in San Diego as the teaser trailer was unveiled, Raimi admitted: “At first I was a little afraid because I didn’t want to have anything to do with a movie that was trading on the good name of the Wizard of Oz movie because I love it so much and I know how much the fans love it but I felt that this nodded lovingly toward it yet told its own original fantastic tale.”

But then after reading the screenplay, he fell in love with the idea.

“It all started with Baum’s great books,” he continued. “He wrote about this fantastic place with unusual characters and flora and fauna and animals and sights. It all goes back to those books.

“Then I had Mitchell Kapner write a great screenplay using his own imagination and dreams and put that into the screenplay. I was assisted also by the great Production Designer Robert Stromberg.

“So, together all of these guys contributed, along with artdirectors, painters, carpenters and character designers, we really assembled a team of fantastic artists to help create this fantastic land of Oz.

“I also thought the whole experience of reading the screenplay was uplifting and I wanted to make a movie that had that affect on the audience.

“There is a comical quality to Frank Baum’s books so I wasn’t injecting it (the movie) with humor I was really trying to recognize the humour that Baum had written into his books and the absurd creations and characters, and then our screenwriters Dave Lindsay-Abaire and Mitchell Kapner both injected the situation with quite a bit of humour.”

Commenting on the experience of Comic-Con, Raimi added: “It was wonderful.”

And paying tribute to the fans, he said: “They really seemed to like that teaser. I was thrilled. I was a little scared going in – they really let you know when they don’t like something and when they do and they seemed to really like it so I was really happy.”

Watch the trailer or view first-look photos

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