Disney have been teasing us with the prospect of Sam Raimi directing a 3D prequel to The Wizard of Oz for a few months now, with confirmation from Disney in June that Raimi would be behind the camera but then Raimi talked to MTV about his shifting priorities with the forthcoming World of Warcraft movie which he has in the pipeline.

An update came to us today from Deadline that Disney expect production to start (possibly with Robert Downey Jr. in the title role – that’s not been confirmed yet) next year and have hired David Lindsay-Abaire to take a crack at the script.

His Tony winning play Rabbit Hole was turned into a film starring Nicole Kidman which we had the chance to see at Toronto this year, and he also wrote Robots and the Brendan Fraser movie Inkheart and worked with Raimi on the aborted Spider-Man 4 project before Sony hit the reboot button.

One among many Oz related movies in development at the moment, Raimi’s prequel will deal with The Great and Powerful before he became The Wizard, and Disney will surely have Alice In Wonderland sized expectations for this one.