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James Franco becomes 'Oz The Great and Powerful' in new prequel

March 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
James Franco is the man who becomes the Wizard of Oz in the new film "Oz The Great And Powerful." It's actually a prequel, even if it's coming out 74 years after the original.

In "Oz The Great and Powerful," James Franco plays a circus magician who finds his way to a land called Oz, thanks to a tornado.

Franco is a fan of "The Wizard of Oz," and of his "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi, who is the wizard behind this film too.

"I think Sam and the writers are very smart and put just the right amount of things that we recognize as Oz-ian and then had their own spin on it," said Franco.

"People do have an idea of Oz," said Franco. "There are things that they want from Oz. So the Yellow Brick Road, the Emerald City, flying monkeys, witches. These are things that people expect, and if they weren't there it wouldn't quite feel like Oz.

"There's a girl made entirely out of porcelain called 'China Girl,' played by Joey King. And Joey gave a great performance and the artists and puppeteers that helped create that character just did a wonderful job," said Franco. "She's so charming. Some of my favorite scenes are with that character."

"Oz The Great and Powerful" is rated PG. It opens Friday.

But first, on Thursday James Franco gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


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