Sam Raimi, whose disagreements with another studio led him to abandon Spider-Man 4 last year, may now be scuffling with Disney, the studio behind his next project Oz: Great And Powerful. According to Vulture he and the studio are at odds over the casting of one of the "elder witches" in the film; Raimi wants Hilary Swank, Disney apparently wants Michelle Williams. This is what you usually call a win-win situation-- both actresses are remarkably talented-- but apparently Raimi is sticking to his guns on Swank, and he and the studio are at an impasse.

It's a strange situation to be in, having loved so much of Raimi's work in the past, but I'm kind of with the studio on this one. Williams is fresh off an Oscar nomination for Blue Valentine and a phenomenal performance in the new indie Meek's Cutoff, while Swank starred in the utterly middle-of-the-road Conviction last fall and currently leads the direct-to-DVD horror film The Resident. Then again, I have no idea what the role entails-- maybe Swank is completely perfect for it, while Williams is just the younger and currently hotter name that Disney is throwing their weight behind.

Regardless of who winds up getting cast, it's not encouraging news to see that Raimi is battling with the studio, especially when such fights have led him to abandon projects in the past. With James Franco and Mila Kunis on board, and Blake Lively considering a role as well, the cast is interesting and young enough to make up for the somewhat exhausting concept of a Wizard of Oz retelling. I'm just hoping Raimi gets his way enough to make the final product worth watching as well.

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