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Downey Jr. To Be Wizard Before Oz?

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that Robert Downey Jr. is in negotiations to play the title character in a WIZARD OF OZ prequel for Disney.

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that Robert Downey Jr. is in negotiations to play the title character in a WIZARD OF OZ prequel for Disney. The project has been hatched by producer Joe Roth.

Two directors are floating around the project — AMERICAN BEAUTY's Sam Mendes and HAIRSPRAY's Adam Shankman.

THE WHOLE NINE YARDS scribe Mitchell Kapner penned the script utilizing parts from several of L. Frank Baum's books. Kapner's take on the Kansas conman is darker than the bumbling version presented in the original classic film. At one time the project was titled BRICK, but now it's being called THE GREAT POWERFUL.

If the pieces fall together, production could start as early as next spring.

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