James Franco, Zach Braff, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz praise Sam Raimi at the Oz: The Great and Powerful London Press Conference

March 4 2013

The all-star ensemble cast of the upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful were full of praise for director Sam Raimi at the films press conference, citing the Spider-Man director as a key reason to getting on board this title.

In attendance at the event – taking place at Claridges Hotel, London – were Zach Braff, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Sam Raimi, James Franco and Mila Kunis, and it was the man in the directors chair taking much of the plaudits.

“I heard Sam was doing this movie and that was probably the number one reason,” said lead star Franco. “I did the three Spider-Man films with him and not only is he one of my favourite directors to work with but I'm a fan of his films, so I jumped at the opportunity to do this.”

Such thoughts were then echoed by Kunis, who had paid her respects to her fellow co-stars, showing off a clear unity amongst the group – something that shines through the production also.

“To be able to work with Sam was a huge honour,” she continued, “And the ladies are the most amazing co-stars I could ever have asked for. Truly they are, Rachel and Michelle are a gift and working with James has always been fun for me, so doing this was a no-brainer.”

To coincide with this general theme of love being directed by way of Raimi, even Braff – who voices the computer animated monkey Finley - had the chance to say some kind words about the talented filmmaker. When asked about what first attracted him to the project, he said, “Well first and foremost, it was Sam Raimi. I think I speak on behalf of everybody that no-one handles these movies better.

“He can make a giant beautiful effects movie but it's grounded and has heart and has a foundation of really human characters and when I heard it was happening I did everything I could to be involved with the great maestro”

Raimi was even happy to blow his own trumpet (albiet somewhat jokingly) as following Weisz's “Sam Raimi is the wizard. He is the man behind the curtain” comment, he deftly replied with, “I am the king.”

Meanwhile, when the cast were asked what spell they would most like to put on another human being, Kunis kept in line with the adoration for Raimi, with the comment, “I would cast a spell on Sam Raimi to hire me for every movie that he makes.” To which Raimi replied, “You've already cast that spell, baby.”

Nonetheless is was Braff – in good comic form throughout the occasion – who ended with the final word on casting spells.

“I would cast a spell on Mila to have her do 50 Shades of Grey,” he finished.

Oz The Great and Powerful Film Page



get involved