Why Didn't RDJ Star In OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL? It's An InTREEguing Story...

Sorry about that! Anyway, a recent piece in The Hollywood Reporter about Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful has seemingly revealed why Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr. ended up ultimately being replaced by James Franco. Read on for details!

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By Josh Wilding - 2/28/2013
Fresh off the success of Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, it appeared as if Robert Downey Jr. would next star in Oz: The Great and Powerful for Sam Raimi. However, when talks mysteriously fell through, it was James Franco who ended up reuniting with the director of the Spider-Man trilogy (Johnny Depp was approached, but a commitment to The Lone Ranger meant otherwise). Why didn't RDJ take the job? Well, here's an excerpt fom their report...


Producer Joe Roth had been talking to Downey before Raimi even joined the project in summer 2010. But after an initial meeting between the director and star, things didn't look good. Months later, Raimi visited Downey at his Los Angeles home, still attempting to land him, but upon entering the house, Raimi spotted a plant that he had given the actor as a goodwill gesture wilting in a corner. (The filmmaker declines to elaborate.)


Oh dear! While I'm sure that the Iron Man actor would have been TREEmendous in the role, Franco is a great actor who appears to have done a great job from what we've seen of the movie so far (he also must be pretty pleased as Disney's urgent need to find a leading man meant that he was able to nab a $7 million payday). Be sure to click on the link below to read the feature in full - there are a lot of fascinating bits and pieces of information in there!







"Oz The Great and Powerful" imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.


STARRING:

James Franco as Oscar Diggs/Oz
Mila Kunis as Theodora
Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch
Rachel Weisz as Evanora
Zach Braff as Frank and Finley
Joey King as China Girl
Abigail Spencer as Mrs. Hamilton
Ted Raimi as Skeptic/Tinker
Tony Cox as Knuck
Tim Holmes as The Strong Man

RELEASE DATE: March 8th, 2013.


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31 Comments
Reasonnnn - 2/28/2013, 10:50 AM
Pretty old story, but Raimi is pretty awesome for doing such a test.
TopCat89 - 2/28/2013, 10:50 AM
'Raimi spotted a plant that he had given the actor as a goodwill gesture wilting in a corner.'

Haha awkward....that made my day
imnotahero - 2/28/2013, 11:04 AM
He probably also said "I'm busy filming Iron man 3" but the plant story is cute too,
StrangerX - 2/28/2013, 11:05 AM
Maybe he shouldn't have gotten him a weed plant then
TonyChu - 2/28/2013, 11:06 AM
There has never been an appropriate moment to say this to Sam Raimi, You mad bro?
95 - 2/28/2013, 11:08 AM
LOL! That's [frick]ed up.
IcemanX - 2/28/2013, 11:15 AM
new iron man 3 trailer in 5 days.... AWESOME
DioFoRio - 2/28/2013, 11:17 AM
and Jcameron is just Adick. and a small one at that.
DioFoRio - 2/28/2013, 11:17 AM
keep trollin and reporting baby cakes ; ) MWAH!
DioFoRio - 2/28/2013, 11:18 AM
Damn Ciph she single?
thanos83 - 2/28/2013, 11:23 AM
I think he passed on this film because the script they had at that point really sucked,he truly dodged a bullet.
JoeMomma29 - 2/28/2013, 11:31 AM
alecwright - 2/28/2013, 12:17 PM
Anyone who calls James Franco a "great actor" should be hit in the head repeatedly with a mallet.
superotherside - 2/28/2013, 12:22 PM
Yeah, it didn't seem like he liked Raimi very much... not suprised he refused the role.

On the other hand James Franco is a great actor. Which is why I'm very excited to see him in this movie.
StormLoganSummers - 2/28/2013, 1:10 PM
HA!
MrMartinMarvel - 2/28/2013, 1:12 PM
@jCameron Man I never know whether I should like or hate you. lol
AC1 - 2/28/2013, 1:24 PM
So Raimi partially based his casting decision on plant maintenance? I wasn't aware that acting potential was judged on gardening. I wonder if Raimi ever thought - Hey, maybe Robert Downey Jr's a busy man who doesn't always have time to water his plants? I mean, what if RDJ isn't even fond of plants? Raimi just bought the dude a plant for his home without even knowing what Downey's plans were for decorating his home! Insensitive much?

Just to clarify, that was a joke. It was actually a pretty nice gesture on Raimi's part, but I'm sure Downey didn't mean anything bad by not taking care of the plant.
AC1 - 2/28/2013, 1:27 PM
@SpidaTrav any idea if there's a video or transcription of that (Downey and Black dissing Spider-Man 3) online? I wanna check it out.
batfan175 - 2/28/2013, 1:36 PM
So RDJ doedn't care. Big deal. Everybody knew that before.
DukeAcureds - 2/28/2013, 1:38 PM
If the director of Evil Dead gave me a tree, I would not want it to live.
TheAbomination - 2/28/2013, 1:45 PM
Man, today must be a slow news day.
JaySin420 - 2/28/2013, 1:47 PM
Well that's a shame, I would've actually been interested in this movie if RDJ was the wizard.

And I really like Franco, but he's not in Downey's league.
NoJobBOB - 2/28/2013, 2:10 PM
I find that kind of funny.
GUNSMITH - 2/28/2013, 2:16 PM


"OOPS..."



....."BUT I'M RDJ SO IT'S OK."
Webhead007 - 2/28/2013, 2:19 PM
Why should RDJ give a shit?? HE'S IN IRON MAN 3 FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!!!
lntrn8 - 2/28/2013, 2:28 PM
@Nomis . . . ha ha
yourhairsmellsnice06 - 2/28/2013, 2:53 PM
I think i'm going to make decisions based on plants. i would like to come work for you but you need to trim your bush in the front.
kemuael - 2/28/2013, 3:21 PM
WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ!!!! o_O
DukeAcureds - 2/28/2013, 3:47 PM
imadick@ Is that Lovejoy?!
EarOne - 3/1/2013, 2:36 AM
maybe it's a good thing he didn't cast him, or else, it'll just be STARK: The Great and Powerful.
SuperSpiderMan5778 - 3/1/2013, 6:08 AM
ummmmm....who cares???

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