Sam Raimi

March 06, 2013 | 5:10 p.m.

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’: Sam Raimi on 3-D fantasy, James Franco

With three “Spider-Man” films on his resume, Sam Raimi has overseen some pretty large projects. But the director said that none of them quite prepared him for “Oz the Great and Powerful.” “Spider-Man lives in a world that already exists, and we were just creating the CG to put into it,” Raimi told Hero Complex in a recent interview. “With ‘Oz’ we had to create a world from scratch. No blade of grass or flower existed before. It was all generated by artists and props people and botanists.” Opening Friday, “Oz the Great and Powerful” represents the first directorial effort from Raimi since his 2009 horror movie “Drag Me to Hell,” and stands as his grandest filmmaking challenge to date, simply from a technical standpoint if no other. In fashioning his take on the world conjured by L. Frank Baum, […]
March 05, 2013 | 2:39 p.m.

‘Evil Dead 4’ rumors: Bruce Campbell says remake should satisfy fans

It was the news “Evil Dead” fans have been wanting to hear for years: In a recent interview promoting his upcoming Disney fantasy “Oz the Great and Powerful,” director Sam Raimi mentioned that he and his brother Ivan were planning to craft a script for the next installment in their beloved cult horror movie franchise this summer. And then he backpedaled. In an interview with Bleeding Cool, Raimi said he’s felt pressured by the rabid “Evil Dead” fan base to return to the series that launched his career, but that he doesn’t exactly have the passion or enthusiasm to tackle the project right now. “I’m afraid that every time I talk about it people get really mad at me when I don’t follow through with it. I would like to work on the script over the summer, that much is […]
March 04, 2013 | 2:31 p.m.

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’: Michelle Williams on Glinda inspiration

In both L. Frank Baum’s “Oz” novels and Victor Fleming’s 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz,” Glinda the Good Witch is all-knowing, aware of everything that happens in Oz and, for the most part, what needs to be done about it. But there’s a different Glinda in “Oz the Great and Powerful,” the Sam Raimi-directed film that opens to high fan anticipation this Friday. As played by Michelle Williams, the wand-waving beacon of goodness can sometimes be just as helpless and in-the-dark as the people she’s there to lead. That was a conscious choice made by Raimi, and one that he and Williams discussed often on set, the actress told Hero Complex. “Glinda can’t be omniscient because then she has no struggle,” Williams said. “If she already knows everything about the situation, there’s nothing for her to discover.” Designed as […]
March 01, 2013 | 9:00 a.m.

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

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

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 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

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

“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

“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 […]
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