When you think of magical faraway lands where pretty much anything is possible, with all due respect to the people of the Wolverine State, you don't usually think of Michigan. That is, unless you're Sam Raimi, a Michigan native who turned the state's woods into a brutal playground in The Evil Dead and who is returning home for what might be his most far-out movie yet, Oz The Great And Powerful. Since the most famous take on L. Frank Baum's magical world was shot entirely on Hollywood soundstages, it might not be that different for this new version to film on soundstages in a different state, namely Raleigh Studios in Pontiac, Michigan.

The press release announcing the start of shooting also contained the first full synopsis we've seen for the film, though if you were paying attention to the casting announcements you probably know the gist anyway. Take a look below just in case:
“Oz The Great and Powerful” imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
With Franco appearing to slouch his way through Rise of the Planet of the Apes and still pulling stunts like selling invisible art, I admit I'm far more excited to check out the trio of witches, three of the most interesting and ridiculously beautiful actresses working today. And yes, I usually couldn't care less about the beauty of a given actress in a film-- that's how much I love all three of them. Oz The Great and Powerful, which is shooting entirely at Raleigh Studios, is set to open on March 8, 2013.

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