January 21st, 2011
01:30 PM ET
You'll probably still get to go off and see the Wizard of Oz, but he won’t be played by Robert Downey, Jr.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Downey has dropped out of Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and the Powerful,” and Disney is hoping Johnny Depp will step in.
Raimi’s “Oz" tells the story of “a young illusionist” who, after being ejected from a traveling circus, gets swept off to Oz in a hot air balloon during a tornado. Of course, the land is already run by two magical witches.
The studio is aiming to begin production on the movie later this year, and whether Depp is up for it will depend largely on timing.
The 48-year-old actor, whose films "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Rango" arrive in theaters this year, is scheduled to begin shooting Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” in the spring, not to mention that he’s also expected to play Tonto in Disney’s “Lone Ranger.”
Raimi's film, however, isn't the only "Wizard"-related production out there. There's also "Dorothy of Oz," a 3-D animated feature starring Lea Michele, Kristin Chenowith, Kelsey Grammer, Martin Short and Hugh Dancy that should arrive in 2012.
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