Comic-Con Report: Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great And Powerful Looks Outstanding

Posted by July 12, 2012 Comment

The Disney panel moved into its Sam Raimi and Oz The Great and Powerful movement by presenting a montage from Raimi’s earlier films. A good bit of Spider-Man, plenty of Evil Dead… nothing from For The Love of the Game. What gives, Disney? Tsk.

The next time they fired up the projectors, after bringing Raimi out for an introduction, it was for a Comic-Con exclusive promo reel for the film. Like the full picture, it started in 4:3 and black and white.  I expected these sequences would be in 2D, but they’re not – they were in full 3D. And there was some playing around with the window boxing with things breaking the edge of the 4:3 box – you may have seen similar tricks in G Force or the Despicable Me 2 po-ta-to trailer. For example, a fire breather blows his flame out into the “black space.”

In these scenes we get a quick look at James Franco as Diggs.

The transformation to colour and widescreen comes as the hot air balloon carries on the wind from the tornado into Oz airspace. The edge of the frame slides gradually and the colour saturation just curves in.

In a series of rapid shots of Oz people and Oz locales we saw the land of dolls, with a little living porcelain character; a little floating fairy-wisp character who bares a set of frightening teeth; and the various witches, as played by Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis who looks just like she did in yesterday’s preview clips.

It seems that Kunis transforms during the film, however, as the last shot was a teasing look at a hand, somewhat greener than normal flesh tone and with some big sharp nails reaching up over the edge of – perhaps – a desk or a stone block and reaching out, digging in and scratching away from the camera. Think of the Spider-Man 2 scene from the sleeping Doc Ock scene with the nail scratches just a little.

It’s impossible to do the footage justice, however. It did have something slightly like Tim Burton’s Wonderland about it, in places, but it looks very much of a Raimi film too, in the way the camera moves in particular.

Raimi says that the Oldsmobile classic appears in the film – sort of. Part of its engine block and camshaft make up part of the wizard’s machinery. He also noted that his plans to make a film of The Shadow were nixed because the screenplay drafts never caught the character accurately.

There is no appearance from the ruby slippers in the film, apparently not even in their original silver form from the Baum books. Neither will we meet the scarecrow, lion or Tin Man.

The design of the film is all derived from the text of Baum, with “loving nods” the MGM movie. Raimi says that the 3D helped create a world that had never been seen before.

(Last Updated July 12, 2012 5:15 pm )