Joey King, the young actress who appeared opposite Selena Gomez in last year’s Ramona and Beezus, has joined the cast of Sam Raimi’s Oz, the Great and Powerful, Variety reports.
The Disney release, a prequel to the 1939 The Wizard of Oz, will star James Franco as a younger version of the Wizard from the original film, who winds up in Oz following a balloon accident. The cast is also set to include Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz.
King, who made headlines last week when she was announced for the cast of The Dark Knight Rises, will play the part of the China Girl. Though the character does not appear in the Victor Fleming film, she does play a small role in the original L. Frank Baum novel when Dorothy enters “The Dainty China Country.” The character first appears in the following bit of text:
A little farther on Dorothy met a most beautiful dressed young princess, who stopped short as she saw the strangers and started to run away.
Dorothy wanted to see more of the Princess, so she ran after her; but the china girl cried out,
“Don’t chase me! don’t chase me! “-
She had such a frightened voice that Dorothy stopped and said, “Why not?”
“Because,” answered the princess, also stopping, a safe distance away, “if I run I may fall down and break myself.”
“But couldn’t you be mended?” asked the girl.
“Oh, yes; but one is never so pretty after being mended, you know,” replied the princess.
The below illustration by W.W. Denslow represents the original printing’s depiction of The Dainty China Country. Click on the image below to check out the full-text of the original 1900 novel, complete with illustrations: