First King is Cast in ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Now ‘Oz’

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One of the hottest names in recent weeks has been 11-year-old actress Joey King. After picking up a role in The Dark Knight Rises, King, who broke out as the Ramona half of Ramona and Beezus, has also landed the pivotal China Girl role in Oz: The Great and Powerful.

The news comes from Variety, which tells me this “China Girl” character is an innocent young girl (made of porcelain) taken in by Oz (James Franco) after her family is destroyed by the evil Evanora (Rachel Weisz). The cast is rounded out by Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis as the other two witch sisters in director Sam Raimi’s pseudo-prequel to The Wizard of Oz.

King will next be seen in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love, which stars Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. IMDb also tells me she has been in a host of other movies and TV shows including Quarantine and Battle: Los Angeles, but I don’t recall seeing her in anything. Is there something special about her that warrants her picking up all these roles? Perhaps a unique Breslin-like quality? At least now I’ll be sure to pay more attention next time I see one of her movies.

Oz also firmed up a release date recently, settling on March 8, 2012. That puts it in direct competition with Elysium, Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to District 9 starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley. Production is set to begin in July.