Just yesterday we heard that Bond 23 had been put on hold indefinitely until the future of debt ridden MGM was certain, and now we have news that the director (or ‘consultant’) Sam Mendes is the front runner to take on another project.
Mendes wasn’t officially hired to direct Bond 23 because that would have kick-started the pre-production process and would have caused complications if MGM had to sell the James Bond rights further down the line. If the MGM situation is resolved in the near future then production can resume and the film could start shooting early next year, however if not Mendes may be heading to Oz with Mr. Robert Downey Jr.
Sam Mendes is the front runner to direct “Oz The Great And Powerful” by Mitchell Kapner, with Robert Downey, Jr. circling to play the Wizard
Last month the L.A Times reported that the Disney film (which was then titled Brick) would be produced by Alice in Wonderland producer Joe Roth and would follow the wizard who is “part of a traveling circus but goes on a similar odyssey as Dorothy when he mysteriously lands in Oz.”
If both Mendes and Downey Jr. are attached then it would be something i’d be interested in seeing, although it may not start filming for at least another year or so. Downey Jr. is filming sci-fi Gravity this summer and it is expected that Sherlock Holmes 2 will begin filming towards the end of the year. He will also be needed for a small movie called The Avengers which begins filming in February. When Downey eventually becomes free it could be the case that Bond 23 is ready to go, so it’ll just be a case of when both of them are available.
It’s also worth noting that there are a few other Wizard of Oz films in development. Warner Bros. are currently deciding between two projects; one by the producers of Twilight which is “a comparatively faithful, non-musical adaptation of the original L. Frank Baum novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and has franchise potential. The second one, written by History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson, is darker and focuses on the granddaughter of Dorothy who returns to Oz to fight evil. Universal also has the Oz-inspired musical Wicked in development.
Which Wizard of Oz would you be interesting in returning to?