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The cameras are now rolling on Sam Raimi's 'Oz: The Great and Powerful,' which features James Franco as the young wizard and no Dorothy in sight. (Conveniently enough, there's a separate Dorothy-centric film in the works starring 'Glee''s Lea Michele.)

In the synopsis just released, we learn that the future Oz starts off as ordinary Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus magician who "thinks he's hit the jackpot" when he finds himself in "the vibrant Land of Oz."

He then meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), "who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting."



Oscar is then "reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants. Oscar must find out who is good and who is 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."

Zach Braff will play Franco's circus assistant and voice Finley the winged monkey and 'Ramona and Beezus' star Joey King voices another CGI character, China Girl. The many fanciful creatures of Oz will be courtesy of makeup expert Howard Berger, whose credits include 'The Walking Dead' and the 'Narnia' films.

According to the press release, Berger is will design "creatures such as the Whimsies, the Tinkers and the Winkies, as well as the ghastly look of the Wicked Witch of the West."

The Disney film has a March 8, 2013, release date.

Which Oz film sounds better?

[via /film]