The upcoming big screen adaptation, Oz The Great and Powerful, is set to hit theaters in a few months and lead actress Rachel Weisz recently spoke out about her role. The film, inspired by the classic L. Frank Baum novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” is a fresh take on the much beloved story.
Raimi’s film is set before the events of the 1900 book and 1939 film. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. He thinks he’s hit the jackpot, with fame and fortune his for the taking… that is, until he meets the witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is really evil before it is too late. 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.
Weisz spoke about her character, the Wicked Witch of the East, with media outlet The Sun saying,
“It was a fun idea to be playing someone who is really, really bad,” Weisz told the outlet. “I can’t think of any roles that I’ve had like that before… She’s really, really a bad person and she revels in being bad.”
The Wicked Witch of the East was originally seen in “Land of Oz” created by Baum in his Oz series of books. The cruel old witch conquered and tyrannized the Munchkin Country in the East, making the Munchkins slave for her night and day. The magical silver shoes (changed to the Ruby Slippers in the popular 1939 MGM film version) were one of her most prized possessions, and she met her demise when Dorothy Gale’s house landed on her. Her dry, withered body quickly turned to dust, leaving only the magic shoes.
“It’s a Disney film,” Weisz continues, “so I shouldn’t say she is ‘turned on’ by evil, but that’s what it is like… She enjoys it, like the meaner she is the more pleasure she gets.”
Oz The Great and Powerful hits theaters in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D on March 8.