Sam Mendes to Direct Wizard of Oz Prequel?

April 21, 2010  |  11:15am

Sam Mendes is the front-runner to direct a Wizard of Oz prequel. The British filmmaker—whose scheduled has opened up due to the suspension of Bond 23—is Disney’s favorite to direct Oz the Great and Powerful, a retelling of the classic tale from the perspective of the Wizard.

Robert Downey Jr. is believed to be the actor wanted for the lead role in the movie, which would reveal his back-story as part of a traveling circus which arrives in Oz, Production Weekly reports.

Romeo Must Die screenwriter Mitchell Kapner has created the script and Alice in Wonderland producer Joe Roth will also work on the project.

Oscar-winning director Mendes has a strong back-cataloge of work, which includes American Beauty, Jarhead and Revolutionary Road, but none in the fantasy genre.

Oz the Great and Powerful does not yet have a planned production or release date.

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