Rachel Weisz Speaks On Sam Raimi’s ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’
Speaking to Stylist (via Digitalspy) while on the promotional rounds for ‘The Bourne Legacy,’ Rachel Weisz touched on a number of topics relating to the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise, her career, writing/directing, and her family. Furthermore, Weisz spoke briefly – and glowingly – about her work on Sam Raimi’s upcoming fantastical Wizard Of Oz spin-off, ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful,’ where she plays Evanora, the Wicked Witch of the East, “That was the most flat-out fun I have ever had making a film. It’s all in the Emerald City. James Franco is the Wizard and I am the Wicked Witch of the East, Mila Kunis is the Wicked Witch of the West and Michelle Williams is Glinda the Good Witch, very saintly and put-upon and beautiful. I got to shoot lightning out of my fingertips, fly around in a black sequined dress and wear lots of red lipstick. It was a complete antidote to doing Bourne – not that Bourne needed an antidote.”
‘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. ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ is pencilled in for a March 8th, 2013 release.
Co-written and directed by the narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy (The Devil’s Advocate, Michael Clayton), ‘The Bourne Legacy’ features a whole new hero (Jeremy Renner; The Hurt Locker, The Town, The Avengers, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) in the same universe as the first three Bourne films – though the character of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is absent. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. Faced with the public and political fallout from the events of ‘The Bourne Ultimatum,’ the CIA decides to shut down “Operation Outcome,” the successor to “Operation Treadstone.” Cross, an agent of Operation Outcome, and Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), a research scientist who helped create the Outcome agents, must find a way to escape before CIA agent Byer (Edward Norton) can have them assassinated. ’The Bourne Legacy’ can be seen on the big screen from August 10th in the US and August 13th in the UK. The likes of Oscar Isaac Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Stacy Keach, Rachel Weisz and Scott Glenn co-star. Both production notes for ‘The Bourne Legacy’ and ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ can be read below. My interview with Rachel Weisz for ‘The Bourne Legacy’ can be read here.
The Bourne Legacy: The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, TONY GILROY, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. Building on the foundation of the Bourne universe created by ROBERT LUDLUM, the writer/director expands the saga with an original story that reveals a larger conspiracy. For The Bourne Legacy, Jeremy Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles.
Twelve years ago, audiences were introduced to Jason Bourne when he was pulled unconscious from the Mediterranean. Over the course of three films, they followed his journey to survive and discover his identity. They watched his CIA handlers mount an increasingly desperate worldwide manhunt. They learned about the Treadstone program and Bourne’s special skills and abilities, and at the trilogy’s conclusion, they may have even felt the story was complete. The Bourne Legacy pulls back the curtain to expose a darker layer of intrigue, a deeper mythology, and a new hero who must battle to stay alive when his program suddenly becomes a liability.
The Bourne Legacy is exactly that—the legacy—the aftermath—of what’s come before. Bourne’s public exposure at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum sparks a bonfire that threatens to burn down decades of research and development into the building of better spies and warriors. Audiences will discover that there are actually a variety of intelligence programs, that the CIA’s Treadstone was but one of the early developments and that Bourne’s actions are creating a tremendous anxiety that other programs may be exposed
Universal Pictures presents, in association with Relativity Media, a Kennedy/Marshall production—in association with Captivate Entertainment: The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, Oscar Isaac, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn. The film’s casting is by Ellen Chenoweth, and its music is by James Newton Howard. The action-thriller’s costume designer is Shay Cunliffe, and it is edited by John Gilroy, ACE. The film’s production designer is Kevin Thompson, and its director of photography is Robert Elswit, ASC. The executive producers are Henry Morrison, Jennifer Fox, and the film is inspired by the “Bourne” series created by Robert Ludlum. The Bourne Legacy is produced by Frank Marshall, Patrick Crowley, Jeffrey M. Weiner, Ben Smith. The story is by Tony Gilroy, and the screenplay is by Tony Gilroy & Dan Gilroy. The film is directed by Tony Gilroy. © 2012 Universal Studios.
Oz: The Great and Powerful: Walt Disney Pictures’ fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, boasts a stellar cast that includes Academy Award® nominee James Franco (“127 Hours”) as the young wizard, Golden Globe® nominee Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”) as the witch Theodora, Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”) as Kunis’ sister Evanora and two-time Oscar®-nominated actress Michelle Williams (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Blue Valentine”) as Glinda, the Good Witch.
The cast also includes Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominee Zach Braff (“Scrubs,” “Garden State”), who will play Franco’s circus assistant as well as lend his vocal talents to one of the CGI creatures in the story — Finley, the winged monkey who accompanies the magician on his journey to Oz; and 12-year-old actress Joey King (“Ramona and Beezus”), who will voice another CGI character in the story, China Girl, who also joins the future Wizard on his excursion through Oz.
The film will be produced by industry veteran Joe Roth, along with executive producers Grant Curtis (the “Spider-Man” trilogy, “Drag Me to Hell”), Philip Steuer (“The Chronicles of Narnia” series) and Palak Patel. The screenplay was written by Mitchell Kapner, (“The Whole Nine Yards”) and David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rabbit Hole,” “Robots”).
Raimi has assembled his own band of technical wizards and movie magicians on the project, which includes cinematographer Peter Deming (“Mulholland Dr.,” “Drag Me to Hell”), two-time Academy Award®–winning production designer Robert Stromberg (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Avatar”), Oscar®-winning film editor Bob Murawski (“The Hurt Locker,” the “Spider-Man” trilogy), veteran Oscar®-nominated costume designer Gary Jones (“Spider-Man 2,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), visual effects Oscar® winner Scott Stokdyk (“Spider-Man 2,” “Spider-Man”) and Academy Award®–winning special makeup artist Howard Berger (“The Chronicles of Narnia” series), who will create the looks of several of the unique denizens of Oz, including creatures such as the Whimsies, the Tinkers and the Winkies, as well as the ghastly look of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Production on “Oz The Great and Powerful” will take place entirely on site at the new Raleigh Michigan Studios, the 200,000 square foot sound stage facility in Pontiac, Michigan, once the location of General Motors’ Centerpoint business campus and truck manufacturing plant.
“Oz The Great and Powerful” will be released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on March 8, 2013.
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