Why Sam Raimi Chose James Franco For Oz The Great And Powerful

It was over a decade ago that Sam Raimi first cast James Franco as his Harry Osborn for what would become the Spider-Man trilogy. Over the course of three movies we watched Harry change as a character, but also saw Franco develop as an actor. After the superhero series came to an end the director and actor parted ways, Raimi returning to his horror roots making Drag Me To Hell and Franco going on to get his first Academy Award nomination and start a directing career of his own. But after their years apart, this weekend they come back together in Oz The Great And Powerful.

Set in the world created by L. Frank Baum, Franco stars in the new film as Oscar Diggs, a magician and con man traveling with a circus who dreams of greatness, but is constantly held back by circumstance. After being run out of town, he finds himself in a hot air balloon stuck in a tornado that transports him to the magical land of Oz. There he learns that he is the subject of a prophecy foretelling the coming of a great wizard who could defeat the Wicked Witch. But does he have what it takes to achieve the greatness he’s long sought?

I recently attended a press event for Oz The Great and Powerful in Los Angeles and had the opportunity to talk with both Raimi and Franco about their latest collaboration. Check out the video below!

Sam Raimi

James Franco

For more from Oz The Great and Powerful, be sure to head over to our Blend Film Database.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.