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D23: Some art and behind the scenes footage from Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful is shown!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with yet more D23 coverage! Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful didn’t take a lot of time of the con, with nobody out to promote it (since, you know, it’s shooting right now), but we did get a little behind the scenes featurette that showed off some footage and had a few interviews.

Most of it was the typical “This is great, everybody is great, the world is great” type EPK stuff, but one of the things that stood out to me was that it appeared that Raimi was shooting part of the movie in 1.37:1 aspect ratio and in black and white. Unless it was some weird add on to the featurette it appears that as Oz (James Franco) gets swept to Oz while encountering a twister in his hot air balloon and that they pull a similar trick to the original, but instead of just jumping from sepia-tone to glorious Technicolor we go from black and white 1.37:1 aspect ratio to 2.35:1 and eye-popping color.

Raimi introduced the footage and as you’d expect did so in a suit… but not just any suit. He kind of looked like a coroner, wearing a very old timey period suit with a floppy bowtie.

The featurette started with a series of “Before Dorothy walked the yellow brick road” type phrases and concluded with “Fate delivered a wizard to Oz.”

Franco plays Oz, somewhat of a conman, circus barker/ringleader type who gets blown to Oz. Some production art showed a few crazy settings as Raimi talked about how L. Frank Baum’s world has been made iconic, but there are still places we haven’t been. One of them was an elephant head shaped mountain (grassy green mountain at that) and a city made entirely of a China set, teapots, cups, etc.

There were shots of Raimi behind the camera, Franco and Michelle Williams in a scene together (she plays Glinda) and a hint that we’re going to see us some damn flying monkeys in this movie as the final bit of the footage had rough silhouette animation of hundreds of flying monkeys winging their way towards camera.

Can’t really get too much of a read other than Raimi looked like his enthusiastic self on the set and in the intro and I like Franco and the cast (including Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Zach Braff, playing Oz’s assistant Frank) a whole lot. The art, which did show the Emerald City and it looks… like the Emerald City, could be awesome or it could be Burton’s Alice In Wonderland. Can’t quite tell yet.

But nothing struck me particularly wrong, just didn’t see much more than a generic studio approved 3 minute behind the scenes featurette.

-Eric Vespe
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