Sam Raimi debuted the first footage from the highly anticipated "Oz The Great and Powerful" at Comic-Con in San Diego on Thursday, and -- as you can see in the trailer above -- it did not disappoint.
Based on the characters created by L. Frank Baum in "The Wizard of Oz," Raimi's film is a prequel of sorts to the events of the famed story -- as a result, don't expect appearances from Tin Man, Cowardly Lion or Scarecrow; Dorothy's famed ruby slippers won't get screen time either. It's a legal issue, as Raimi told Comic-Con attendees: "[The ruby slippers] are imagery unique to the [original] MGM film, so no, they don't make an appearance in this one."
James Franco stars in "Oz The Great and Powerful" as Oscar Diggs, a small-time magician-slash-con artist, who gets sucked into the world of Oz during a fantastical black-and-white prologue. Once there, he encounters all sorts of bizarre creatures, as well as three witches: Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams).
The footage shown in the Comic-Con trailer is dense, with lots of visual-effect tomfoolery and a sense of fun that gets enhanced by Franco's bewildered charm.
Some film writers in attendance at Comic-Con weren't totally on board with "Oz" -- Hollywood.com's Matt Patches bemoaned the overuse of CGI -- but the brief trailer is certainly promising. Expect to see plenty more about this film between now and its March 8, 2013 release date.