Johnny Depp Passes on Oz, James Franco May Take Over

It looks like one of the hardest working man in Hollywood (that would be Johnny Depp) has decided to take a break or two from the title for a while. Or at least, he plans on making an opening in his schedule, possibly to shoot buddy Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” movie, perhaps? Whatever the reason, it looks like Depp has officially passed on starring in Sam Raimi’s “re-imagined” take on “The Wizard of Oz” called “Oz, the Great and Powerful”.

The plot of “Oz” follows “a young illusionist with a grandiose attitude who is forced to flee a traveling circus. His hot air balloon is swept up by a tornado to the land of Oz, which is run by two magical wicked witches.”

According to Heat Vision Depp has passed on the project, and now the name being mentioned as a possible replacement is James Franco. That’s … a bit of a stretch there. Especially when you consider that initially Robert Downey Jr. was in talks to star before eventually dropping out to be replaced by Depp. To go from Downey to Depp to … Franco?

Mind you, I think Franco is a ridiculously talented dude, but I just can’t see what kind of movie “Oz” can possibly be that it can go from more mature actors like Downey and Depp to a young buck like Franco.

In any case, it’s not like the deal is done or anything, but that’s the going talk around Hollywood tonight.