The stats are in and it's official: Oz The Great and Powerful is a smash hit. I expect it's really rather likely that Disney will push their sequel plans all the way to fruition but when they do, will they still have director Sam Raimi on side?
Well, that's looking much less likely.
Raimi was in London last weekend for our premiere of the film and to speak to the press. I sat down with him for a good old natter. I hope you've already read the Evil Dead portion of our chat, or our extended discussion of the filmmaking techniques he used for this particular project.
Now, though, let's address the in-the-works sequel. Here's Raimi.
I haven't planned on directing the sequel. I did leave some loose ends for another director if they want to make the picture. I tried to make it a complete ending, so that the audience would be fulfilled, but I also let Evenora and Theodora get away.
I was attracted to this story but I don't think the second one would have the thing I would need to get me interested.
It's not clear if Raimi knows anything about Disney's plans or what Mitchell Kapner is up to with his new screenplay, but I expect the director and the studio have had at least a basic conversation about the possibility of everybody going forward together.
If Raimi told the mouse just the same things in private as he's saying in public then I'm sure the producers are already conjuring up notions for possible replacements. I'm not sure who I'd be happiest with…
Oz the Great and Powerful is in cinemas now. I'm a fan.