Trailer of the week: Oz The Great and Powerful

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A prequel to the Wizard of Oz, where the titular hero arrives at the Emerald City to find a trio of witches, and a lot of CGI

What is it?

Oz The Great and Powerful

Oz The Great and Powerful

A prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Sort of.

How on earth do you make a prequel to a film released in 1939?

By being very liberal with the definition. It’s not a musical, and it looks like a modern fantasy film, with all the CGI trimmings (it’s also in 3D). But director Sam Raimi has made the Emerald City, at very least, look remarkably like the one Judy Garland visited.

I don’t recall L Frank Baum ever writing a prequel...

He didn’t. This is a new story, although it’s apparently inspired by references to Oz’s early life that appeared in Baum’s books. James Franco plays the young Oz – or rather Oscar Diggs, a Kansas magician – who, like Dorothy, is transported to Oz by a tornado, where he is hailed as a hero, before running into trouble with some witches, here played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams.

Does it turn out to be all a dream?

You’ll need to wait until the film is released to find out. It’s in cinemas from 8 March 2013.