Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke confirmed bright and early this morning that Sam Raimi has agreed to direct Disney's 3-D prequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ, currently titled OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (it used to be called BRICK) - and since she hasn't rewritten the article in the last few hours, I guess we can assume the story is 100% correct. The screenplay by Mitchell Kapner (THE WHOLE NINE YARDS, INTO THE BLUE 2: THE REEF) purports to give us a "dark and complex" origin tale in which the Wizard is whisked away from his earthbound circus-wrangler gig to the land of Oz, where the natives confuse him for an all-knowing god. Or something like that.
If Disney gets their way, Robert Downey Jr. will star as the Wizard (the role is currently being rewritten with him in mind). The studio is clearly chasing the success of this year's dreadful ALICE IN WONDERLAND. In their favor, they're not rehashing an oft-told story; unfortunately, they've chosen to go the tired origin route rather than adapt another of L. Frank Baum's books.
This is the first of four in-development OZ films to get a greenlight.