First Image Of James Franco As ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’

We’ve been dying to see “Oz: The Great and Powerful” for years now, and even though it started filming a year ago, we still haven’t seen any stills or footage from the movie. So consider us a little starved for anything to do with the great and powerful Wizard of Oz.

That’s why we were so excited that the folks over at the James Franco Forever fansite posted what is our first look at the upcoming movie. Sure, it’s just a shoddy snapshot of an Italian tease for the Sam Raimi flick, but that’s more than anything we’ve had before. And we’ve got to admit, we like the look James Franco has going on as the titular Oz.

As anyone who’s seen “The Wizard of Oz” will know, the titular man behind the curtain is a big showman. In “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” he is supposed to be a circus performer before he gets transported to Oz. This image of Franco gets that point across thanks to his old Hollywood top hat and tuxedo. Of course, there’s also the hot air balloon in the background teasing Oz’s journey to the land somewhere over the rainbow, promising much more fantastical elements of this story to come, but for now we’re just happy to see some of that old school glamor that Franco previously promised us.

“Sam Raimi is I think a master of capturing a feeling of old Hollywood charm and matching it with the latest technology,” Franco said. “So he’s going to create the amazing world and take people to this place. The characters are very funny in a old Hollywood way.”

According to the official plot synopsis for “Oz,” the movie tells the origin story of the Wizard of Oz, who started as a circus magician but was transported from Kansas to Oz via hot air balloon. There he meets three witches—Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams)—who aren’t quite sold on his wizard schtick. “Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well,” the synopsis promises.

“Oz: The Great and Powerful” is due in theaters on March 8, 2013.

What do you think of this first look at Franco as Oz? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!