James Franco Eyed for Oz ?


James Franco is the latest name to be linked to the lead in Sam Raimi’s Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz, the Great and Powerful, according to a story at Heat Vision.

As reported last month, Robert Downey Jr., who was slated to play the part (the Wizard from the original film, who winds up in Oz following a balloon accident) left the project and, at the time, the top choice to replace him was said to be Johnny Depp.

Depp has now, apparently, passed on the film and, while it’s far from a done deal, Franco is now being discussed for the part. The actor does have previous experience working with Raimi, having appeared in all three Spider-Man films in the role of Harry Osborn.

Franco, meanwhile, is set for an eclectic schedule, starring in the upcoming Rise of the Apes and Your Highness, hosting the Oscars (alongside Anne Hathaway), returning to “General Hospital” and teaching a ten week film class at Columbia College entitled “Editing James Franco… With James Franco.” He is also slated to make his directorial debut with an adaptation of William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.”