Robert Downey Jr. to Play the Great and Powerful Wizard of OZ?

Director Sam Mendes may not be directing the next James Bond film anytime soon, and he recently dropped out of the comic book adaptation of Preacher. But, he's got another project soon to be lined up, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz story called Oz the Great and Powerful, and of course Robert Downey Jr. may end up starring in the film as the Wizard.

Production Weekly reports:

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

This is one of many Wizard of Oz film projects that are in the process of being made, but this is the first big news to come from any of them, so it looks like this is the Oz project that actually has got legs and is headed to the big screen. The film is set up over at Warner Bros New Line Cinema banner, and is being developed from a script written by Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After, Jack The Giant Killer) There aren't any crazy details about the story yet. I have a hard time imagining Downey Jr. in the role of the Wizard though, I just don't see it. I'm surprised they didn't go after Johnny Depp. 

This wasn't my first choice for a new Oz film, one of the other projects was a much darker and influenced by Todd McFarlane's line of Twisted Oz toys. It looks like they are going with the more family friendly version, which makes sense money wise.

What do you think about Mendes directing and Robert Downey Jr. possibly playing the Wizard?

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