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Are Robert Downey, Jr. and Sam Mendes Off to See the Wizard?

Now that Bond 23 director Sam Mendes has got plenty of time on his hands since that film went on "indefinite hold," he's turning his attention to L. Fram Baum's land of Oz and is hoping to bring Iron Man along for the ride.
Reports the Vulture column at, "A day after his Bond movie was put on indefinite hold, Sam Mendes may have already found a new project. According to Production Weekly's Twitter, he's the leading contender to direct Wizard of Oz prequel Oz, the Great and Powerful, with Robert Downey Jr. circling the role of the Wizard. Nice that these guys finally found some work."

Elaborating a bit on the potential film's plot, First adds, "Oz The Great And Powerful is a film formerly known as Brick (not sure why?) written by Mitchell Kapner (The Whole Nine Yards, Into the Blue 2: The Reef). The project is being developed by an executive-turned-producer named Joe Roth and focuses on how the Wizard of Oz came to sit behind the curtain. In brief, it's an origin story about the Wizard, based on pieces from several other L. Frank Baum Oz books as well as his original ideas. That info comes from Pajiba and the LA Times, since this is one of many Wizard of Oz related projects in the works, including sequels and other wacky ideas (like Todd McFarlane's darker Oz)."

Muses, "The fact that this news surfaced post Alice in Wonderland’s massive success suggests that Oz The Great And Powerful could take the classic into darker and more experimental territory. Perhaps we could be looking at a Downey Jr. spin on the Wizard in the vein of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter – with less silliness, of course. And the fact that Joe Roth, the producer of Alice, is said to be behind this effort, a similarity is more than likely. It’s nearly impossible to speculate which will come first for Mendes, this or the ever troubled Bond 23. And the same goes for Downey Jr. With all of these Avengers rumors floating around on top of Sherlock Holmes 2 and the potential continuation of the Iron Man franchise, we’ll just have to wait and see how these filmmakers plan to lay the bricks."
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