Adapting a beloved TV series to the big screen is always a risky prospect, particularly when you start departing from the source material. Be it giving a post-modern meta spin on classics like “Bewitched” or “Starsky & Hutch,” or chucking big-budget effects at lo-fi favorites like ‘The A-Team” or “Lost In Space,” the results are rarely positive, pleasing neither fans or neophytes. We thought we might be on safer ground when we discovered that Sam Raimi was directing a film called “Oz.” Surely the brutal prison drama that preempted the golden age of HBO and shows like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” would make it to the big-screen unscathed, especially in the hands of the director of “The Evil Dead” and “A Simple Plan.”
But so far, we’re not sure what Raimi was thinking, and that’s been cemented by the latest TV spot for the film, entitled “Oz The Great & Powerful,” which debuted during the Golden Globes last night. Gone are the neo-Nazis, gang-rape, shivvings and c-words, replaced by gaudy fantastical backdrops, cartoonish special effects and James Franco in a top hat and tails. Of all the TV adaptations that have departed from their subject matter, this seems to be the most egregious offender.
Still, for those who are interested in the film, there’s some new footage in this spot, focusing on the three witches (presumably some kind of lesbian prison gang?) played by Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz. “Oz The Great & Powerful” will be released by Disney (which really should have been a sign, to be honest) on March 8th.
Wait, The Wizard of what? [Screen Crush]