Disney wants more Oz, plans 'Oz the Great and Powerful' sequel

Does it come as any surprise that Disney is already looking forward to an Oz the Great and Powerful  sequel? The Sam Raimi-directed film opens today (review here), and most are expecting it to be a huge hit. Actually, it better be, considering the hefty price tag rumored to be near the $300M(!!!!!) mark. Disney embarrassed themselves last year by plotting a sequel to John Carter early, only to have the film bomb in epic fashion. You can bet it's a mistake they won't be making again, even as Variety reveals Mitchell Kapner has been hired to start penning the next trip down the yellow brick road.

Showing their supreme confidence in the film, Disney hired Kapner months ago to start work on the follow-up. He'll be tackling the script solo, having teamed with David Lindsay-Abaire on the first film, and of course no plot details are available at this early stage. It's also a little too soon to start asking about the cast and Raimi's interest in another. Just as with Oz the Great and Powerful, Kapner can use anything from F. Frank Baum's novel, as it's public domain. MGM owns the rights to the 1939 film, so nothing original to it can be touched. Baum wrote fourteen Oz books, so Kapner will probably tap into those for new material.

Disney is keen on getting this moving quickly to capitalize on the presumed success, and to stay in line with the numerous other fantasy adaptations they have coming up. In the pipeline is Maleficent, the Sleeping Beauty adaptation starring Angelina Jolie, and Cinderella with Emma Watson eying the title role.  They also have a sequel to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, recently hiring Lina Woolverton to pen the screenplay.