To Oz: Raimi tells 'Great and Powerful' prequel

July 13, 2012 - 9:44 AM

SAN DIEGO (AP) — There's no scarecrow, tin man or Dorothy in Sam Raimi's Land of Oz. No ruby slippers or Toto, too.

Raimi offered a crowd at the Comic-Con fan convention Thursday a sneak peek at his prequel "Oz: The Great and Powerful," due in theaters next year.

The maker of "Spider-Man" and its two sequels told fans that his film is the story of how the ruler of Emerald City came to Oz, so characters and many other familiar facets of the classic 1939 musical "The Wizard of Oz" do not appear.

The film stars James Franco as a Kansas carnival magician whose hot-air balloon is blown to the magical realm by a tornado. Raimi says Franco's Oz is a selfish womanizer who's forced to become a nobler man in Oz.