Sam Raimi

March 01, 2013 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’: Robert Stromberg on Raimi, Burton, Baum

China Girl (voiced by Joey King), left; James Franco, center; Finley (voiced by Zach Braff), right in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney)
Veteran visual effects professional and production designer Robert Stromberg has made a career out of conjuring new worlds for filmmakers including James Cameron, Tim Burton and Guillermo del Toro – it’s a skill that has landed him a turn of his own in the director’s chair in the upcoming “Maleficent,” starring Angelina Jolie as the sorceress. For “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” starring James Franco as a magician con man who finds himself accidentally whisked away to the magical land that exists beyond the rainbow, Stromberg collaborated with director Sam Raimi to craft a “dreamlike place that no one had seen before.” That entailed constructing around 30 sets on eight soundstages in Raimi’s home state of Michigan, where the film, set to open March 8, was shot. Hero Complex recently spoke with Stromberg about his approach to rendering the world of L. […]
Feb. 25, 2013 | 6:40 p.m.

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’: Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz catch fire

Rachel Weisz, left, and Mila Kunis in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)
With “Oz the Great and Powerful” landing in theaters in less than two weeks on March 8, a new clip from the film spotlights the interesting sisterly dynamics between a pair of witches played by Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz. The movie, which marks the first film from director Sam Raimi since 2009′s “Drag Me to Hell,” takes place before the events depicted in the landmark 1939 musical “The Wizard of Oz,” and is based on the classic literature of L. Frank Baum. In the beginning of the clip, Kunis seems innocent and trusting, thrilled that the sleight-of-hand magician played by James Franco has arrived to broker peace in Oz. But in the final moment of the sequence, she reveals she also has one very hot temper. What you don’t get from this clip is a sense of the film’s epic […]
Feb. 25, 2013 | 3:44 p.m.

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’: Come see it early, for free, in IMAX

Excited to see Sam Raimi’s lavish interpretation of the world of L. Frank Baum, “Oz the Great and Powerful”? Hero Complex will host a free screening of the film at the AMC Century City 15 & IMAX on Wednesday, March 6, two days before the movie opens in theaters. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a Q&A with actor Zach Braff. The RSVP opens at 10 a.m. Tuesday; log on to www.latimes.com/OZ to register to attend the screening. “Oz the Great and Powerful” is the first film from Raimi since his 2009 horror outing, “Drag Me to Hell.” Here, he’s working squarely in the family film tradition, creating a spectacle event movie that takes place prior to the events depicted in the Oscar-winning 1939 musical, “The Wizard of Oz.” In the screenplay, credited to Mitchell […]
Feb. 03, 2013 | 9:06 p.m.

‘Iron Man 3′: Super Bowl spot leads pack of Disney’s latest Marvels

"Iron Man 3." (Marvel/Disney)
How many Iron Men does it take to save 13 people plummeting earthward after a plane breaks apart in midair? Granted, it’s kind of a trick question, seeing as how there is only one Tony Stark, but the passengers’ plight made for a gripping Super Bowl teaser touting the May 3 release of “Iron Man 3.” Although “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” director Shane Black’s first entry in the Marvel series looks heavy on the action, the Robert Downey Jr. vehicle wasn’t the only upcoming blockbuster to get airtime during the big game, with new spots debuting for “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “World War Z” and “Snitch,” among other films. In all, Disney promoted three of its new releases, with “The Lone Ranger” and “Oz: The Great and Powerful” joining “Iron Man 3″ as part of the promotional onslaught. With its […]
Jan. 29, 2013 | 11:49 a.m.

‘Oz’: Teaser, character posters hint at Sam Raimi’s lavish vision

Michelle Williams plays Glinda in "Oz the Great and Powerful." (Disney Enterprises)
“The Lone Ranger” isn’t the only film teasing an upcoming Super Bowl ad this week: Disney also released a munchkin-sized teaser of its latest spot for Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” as well as several new character portraits. The movie recounts the tale of just how Oz (James Franco) journeyed from dusty Kansas to the glorious Technicolor world over the rainbow. In the screenplay, credited to Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire, a strong storm blows Franco’s magician/con man into the distant land, where he encounters talking china dolls, flying monkeys and several witches, including Mila Kunis’ Theodora, Rachel Weisz’s Evanora and Michelle Williams’ sunny Glinda. It’s the first new film from Raimi since his under-appreciated 2009 horror outing “Drag Me to Hell,” and it sees the director returning to the massive blockbuster territory he explored with a trilogy […]
Jan. 15, 2013 | 12:29 p.m.

‘Evil Dead’ remake to premiere at South by Southwest

Fede Alvarez’s update of “Evil Dead,” the revered 1981 cult horror film that launched Sam Raimi’s career, will be officially unveiled at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, organizers announced Tuesday. “Evil Dead” was one of the early titles revealed as part of the lineup for the 20th edition of the festival, which kicks off March 8. The film stars Jane Levy (TV’s “Suburgatory”) as a young woman who becomes stranded in a remote cabin with four others — a group that’s terrorized by an ancient demonic force. It’s the same premise Raimi, then an upstart indie filmmaker from Michigan, employed for his original, which, of course, starred Bruce Campbell. Raimi, who like Campbell and fellow “Evil Dead” producer Robert G. Tapert has a producer credit on the new movie, told Hero Complex earlier this month […]
Jan. 10, 2013 | 4:05 p.m.

Composing wizard Danny Elfman talks sweeping, gigantic ‘Oz’ score

'Oz: The Great and Powerful' composer Danny Elfman
“The Wizard of Oz” features some of the most beloved songs in movie musical history: “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead.” But with Disney’s March 8 release, “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” director Sam Raimi and composer Danny Elfman were quite conscious of putting a wholly unique stamp on a project inspired by author L. Frank Baum’s original books, not the Oscar-winning 1939 movie. In one instance, though, that directive proved especially tricky — when writing a song for a sequence in which a group of happy Munchkins welcome James Franco’s Oz to the Emerald City, Elfman found himself in something of a predicament. “These Munchkins are little people in a joyous town of fantasy singing an up-tempo welcoming song. There really aren’t that many ways to apply that,” Elfman said during […]
Jan. 08, 2013 | 4:44 p.m.

‘Iron Man,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Man of Steel’: 13 must-see movies in 2013

2013 films (featured image)
With “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and more sci-fi and fantasy films, 2012 was a landmark, record-breaking year for spectacle entertainment. But 2013 looks just as promising with a host of big, anticipated sequels — including “Iron Man 3″ and “Star Trek Into Darkness” — and such smart new offerings as “Pacific Rim” and “Elysium” on the calendar. With that in mind, here’s a look at Hero Complex’s 13 must-see movies in 2013. “Oz: The Great and Powerful” (March 8) Sam Raimi’s upcoming “Oz: The Great and Powerful” promises viewers a journey down the yellow brick road that will include a breathtaking array of dazzling visual effects. The Disney film stars James Franco as the man who will become the Wizard of Oz, and takes place well before Dorothy arrives in the faraway fantasy […]
Jan. 04, 2013 | 4:36 p.m.

‘Evil Dead’: Sam Raimi says remake director right for the job

'Evil Dead' remake
The crowds at New York Comic-Con went wild in October when Bruce Campbell — in a splashy, vibrant suit — debuted footage from the “Evil Dead” remake due out in April. Now an extreme red-band trailer for the new incarnation of Sam Raimi’s landmark horror film is making the rounds online to much fanfare (and some consternation). Raimi, who like Campbell and fellow “Evil Dead” producer Robert G. Tapert has a producer credit on the new movie, says he can’t wait for genre fans to have the chance to see first-time feature director Fede Alvarez’s update of the revered 1981 cult horror film that launched his career. “I instantly sensed that he was a great storyteller, really sharp, funny, sincere, wanted to really entertain the audience in a new way,” Raimi said of Alvarez, who previously made the lauded 2009 […]
Dec. 21, 2012 | 5:41 a.m.

‘Star Trek,’ ‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘Man of Steel’: Movie trailer bonanza

“The Dark Knight Rises” might have been the most watched movie trailer on YouTube this year, but with 2013 just around the corner, we here at Hero Complex thought it would be fun to collect the trailers for some of next year’s big releases — many of which debuted in what seemed like an onslaught of promotion in the last few weeks. “Star Trek Into Darkness” J.J. Abrams’ much anticipated follow-up to his 2009 reboot of the landmark television series beams into theaters May 17, and fans got a taste of what to expect with the nine minutes of the movie that played before Imax screenings of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” But the question remains, who is the villain that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing? Some fans seem convinced that Cumberbatch would appear as Khan Noonien Singh, the character made […]
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