SDCC2012: Oz the Great and Powerful trailer lands the balloon

Disney has unveiled the first teaser trailer for its upcoming readaptation prequel of The Wizard of Oz.

As you may recall, Oz the Great and Powerful is currently one of two new Oz adaptations in production, but is the only one we’ve actually seen any footage of.

I like the apparent decision to start the film in black and white, similar to the classic MGM film adaptation, which used the same technique, showing Kansas as grey, and Oz as colorful.

Remember, Frank Baum created the world of Oz for his series of children’s books in the 1850’s, and since then it has become one of the most widely adapted story worlds ever, owing much of its fame to the famous partly colorized film The Wizard of Oz. 

This new film depicts the origin story of The Wizard. When it begins, Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs (played by James Franco) is a circus magician, who is magically transported to Oz, years before Dorothy arrives.

He meets up with a few of the witches, and gets dragged into some Oz politics before figuring out how to become The Wizard which was spoken of in the prophesies. Of course, it helps that in Oz, his powers of illusion are real.

There is no official synopsis available yet.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to this one, but there is still a lot to learn about the project. For example, more than anything else, I want to know if it’s been produced as a prequel to the MGM film, or more directly as a prequel to the original book. I have a feeling it’s the former, but wouldn’t it be great if the film was more connected to the books, perhaps even as the beginning of a new franchise.

Oz the Great and Powerful, helmed by genre veteran Sam Raimi, is slated to drop into theaters on March 8, 2013.