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Disney Sets 'Oz, the Great and Powerful' for 2013

Sam Raimi
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

James Franco is set to play the young wizard in the Sam Raimi-directed 3D prequel.

Disney has set a release date for 3D event pic Oz: The Great and Powerful: March 8, 2013.

Directed by Sam Raimi, Oz is a prequel to the classic movie The Wizard of Oz.

Oz stars James Franco as a young circus magician whose hot air balloon is transported to the land of Oz, where he becomes the wizard. Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire penned the script. Mila Kunis is set to star as one of the two magical witches who control Oz, while Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz are in final talks to join the cast.

Joe Roth is producing Oz, and is hoping to replicate the success of Alice in Wonderland, which grossed north of $1 billion at the worldwide box office for Disney and Roth.