|Wocka Wocka Wocka|
HOLLYWOOD – Sam Raimi is having a tough day in Oz. The set designers have been watching to much HBO and everything looks like a prison; the Munchkins have got heavily into identity politics and are revising the script to remove all references to their stature and cuteness; the Witches have been arguing about the size of their respective trailers and now James Franco, to make matters worse, has started acting.
Studio Exec has been granted exclusive access to visionary director, Sam Raimi’s re-imagining of the Frank L. Baum classic universe made famous by the 1931 Judy Garland film The Wizard of Oz , but the yellow brick road has never been a straight one.
‘Ok, action Jamie,’ Sam shouts from behind his monitor.
‘What wondrous place is this, wokka wokka wokka!’ says Franco.
‘Cut, cut,’ Sam shouts. ‘Go again. Just say the line, Jamie without the … Just the line.’
‘This place wondrous is after so many days I have travelled,’ says Franco.
‘No, no, no, no,’ shouts Raimi. ‘Call Bruce Campbell!’
The first AD calls a lunch break and Raimi takes the opportunity to vent. ‘That fucking Franco is ruining everything. He signed on thinking that the film was going to be a biopic of Frank Oz, the famous voice artist and then film director. I gave him the book, I told him what it was about but he decided that he didn’t care, he was going to play everything like Frank Oz.’
At the canteen Franco is complaining there’s no R in his alphabet soup.
Raimi sits down in front of a small Greek salad and begins to eat. ‘When I came into this industry I was a maverick,’ he says. ‘I wanted to make original movies. First I made Evil Dead and Crime Wave, everything was sweet, but it all began to do wrong. Evil Dead II and Darkman I was still on the right track, but then the Spiderman films and now this. What have I done? What have I done?’
Raimi is weeping now. Tears run down his face and into his feta cheese.
‘Spiderman 2 was okay,’ I say.
‘You’re a kind man Chad,’ Raimi mumbles but then he catches sight of Franco – who is now ordering a ‘buk buk buk-ARK sandwich’ and his face collapses into pure unrestrained grief. ‘I can’t go on. I’m wasting my life.’
Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams charge over to Raimi’s table and I decide it might be better to withdraw.
Oz: The Great and Powerful is slated for release on the 8th of March in Lithuania but the 27th of March in Spain, for reasons of irritation.