March 07, 2013 6:06pm PT by Borys Kit
Sequel to 'Oz the Great and Powerful' in the Works
With expectations of a box-office bonanza this weekend, Disney is already planning a sequel to Oz the Great and Powerful, THR has confirmed.
Mitchell Kapner has been hired to write a script for the follow-up, which would continue the adventures of Oz, played by James Franco.
Kapner came up with the concept and ideas for the origin story of Oz, basing it on the classic L. Frank Baum books, pitching it to producer Joe Roth, who set it up at Disney, and writing the initial drafts. He shares screenwriting credit with David Lindsay-Abaire, who came on board later in the process.
Roth would be back as producer.
The movie stars Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. Sam Raimi directed the fantasy tentpole, which, despite getting lukewarm reviews, is tracking to open at in the $80 million to $90 million range this weekend. That should go a long way toward off-setting the mega-budget, which was far north of $200 million.
Before Oz, Kapner wrote The Whole Nine Yards and Days of Wrath, and also worked on the action movie Romeo Must Die. He is repped by Gersh and Fineman Entertainment.
Planning for sequels to tentpoles has become increasingly the norm in Hollywood, with movies ranging from Snow White and Huntsman to comedies such as the Hangover series engaging in the practice.