‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ Comic-Con 2012 Panel with Sam Raimi, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis
By: Michael Cantrell
Disney brought director Sam Raimi, actresses Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis to Comic-Con 2012 this year to talk about Oz: The Great and Powerful. It seems James Franco (Wizard of Oz) was unavailable due to teaching classes, writing half a dozen books, directing, acting, and working on world peace. The panel was hosted by Chris Hardwick (nerdist.com).
Hardwick introduced Sam Raimi by showing a montage clip of Raimi’s films (which is unavailable online), that threw the crowd into cheers and hysteria. Once Raimi was on stage, he talked briefly about the film letting us know that the Wizard is a man who is selfish and gets himself into a bit of trouble in Kansas…he’s an adulterer. The Wizard was a carnival magician, and is eventually forced out of Kansas, which leads him to a balloon ride that goes awry taking him into a tornado and to the land of Oz.
The Hall H attendees were given a first look at the Oz: The Great and Powerful trailer, which you can now see online below.
Hardwick brought out Michelle Williams (Glinda) and Mila Kunis (Theodora). Rachel Weisz, who plays Evanora and sister to Theodora, was not at the panel. We didn’t hear much from Michelle Williams in this panel. She does discuss very briefly that her character sees the good in the land of Oz, even when it is at its worst.
Mila Kunis said that her character is incredibly naive and believes that Oz (Franco) truly is the Wizard. Kunis mentioned that she didn’t get to work much with Michelle Williams on set. Kunis talked about the sets and green/blue screen. Even though there were green screen sets, most of the sets were full scale practical sets. The sets included Glinda’s castle, Emerald City and the Whimsical Woods. Kunis says, “walking on to Glinda’s castle was one of the most magical experiences of my life.”
Raimi talked about the use of 3D in the film and how it helped him to create the imagery in the film. The 3D looked great in the trailer they showed in Hall H. You don’t get any of that in the clip above, but trust me it looked fantastic (and I don’t get excited by 3D much anymore).
And for those who are wondering, no the Ruby Slippers don’t make an appearance in the film. MGM owns the rights to those slippers so they were off limits. The Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man do not make an appearance as well. Raimi said that this is well before they make an appearance in the story, and is a prequel with a focus on the Wizard. For fans of Raimi’s films, yes there is a scene with a piece of the Oldsmobile Classic, but not in its true form. The engine block and cam shaft are part of the wizards machinery.
At the end of the panel people in the audience received a ticket to redeem for a Comic-Con exclusive poster, which you can see below.
This last week, Disney release stills from the film, which you can view below. Raimi gave praise to the production designer of the film, Robert Stromberg, during the panel. Robert Stromberg will be directing the film Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie. I think he’s done an excellent job at creating the visuals you see below.
Are you excited to go back to Oz?