And word has come tonight of a strange new avenue which may have opened up for Mendes and another of our favourites, Robert Downey Jr., and this road is built with yellow bricks.
Earlier this evening there was a curious tweet from Production Weekly which I’ve copied in below and suggests that Mitchell Kapner’s script for a companion piece to the Oz stories, which places the story around the mighty Wizard before he was so great and powerful, in moving into production.
Taking the notion that he was from Kansas, same as Dorothy, and is indeed that traveling showman/conman who finds himself whisked away to Oz, where the great and powerful moniker is bestowed upon him. It’s an original and Wickedesque twist on the Oz tale, and one I’ve not problem with at all. Here’s why – this is the tweet which started the whole speculation thing,
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
So, you see why this is exciting? Robert Downey Jr. playing the Wizard? I’m in, and I love the 1939 version with all of my beating heart and yet I’d rather see this version that all the others currently in production (Warners and Universal have their fingers in the Emerald City pies).
The Oz stories have enough scope and life in them to survive a number of big screen renderings and while the Judy Garland film will remain definitive I’d hazard a guess that this one, if all goes to plan as suggested here, will be a great take on L. Frank Baum’s classics.