Robert Downey Jr. drops out of 'Oz'
January 21st, 2011
01:30 PM ET

Robert Downey Jr. drops out of 'Oz'

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.

Filed under: movies

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    No doubt about it that Johnny is a real talent and worth the bucks he is getting but enough is enough. He is becoming much like Jude Law a few years ago. He's in every other movie. Johnny, don't overstay your welcome. How about one movie a year? Same with RDJ. Disappear for awhile. Your return will be met with open arms.

    February 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sergito74

    This is a wonderful idea for multi million $ flop – why not rewrite it and have Angelina Jolie be the young illusionist!

    February 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. m8rt

    I agree with much that has been offered here, except for the age of the actor. Frank Morgan was nearly 50 when he played Professor Marvel.

    I too love Johnny Depp, and this would be typecasting for him, don't do it.

    How about Phillip Seymore Hoffman?

    February 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. goss

    Get Crispin Glover to play OZ.

    February 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sean

    What about Jude Law .

    February 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jeffrey

    I love J. Depp! He can play anything.
    I think it would be good for him to get away from Tim Burrton for a change.
    A 3D animated version of The Wizard of Oz? Are you kidding! Why would anyone want to remake, or" re-imagine" such a classic film! Who could ever fill Judy Garland's ruby slippers? Or improve on any of the great actors performances in the MGM version. I just don't get it!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Shirley

    Oh please, someone new, not Robin Williams, he is so annoying. No one can interview him, without him trying to be funny.

    February 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anne

    Both are such fine actors. This story zeroes in on Depp, though. I want to know why RDJ dropped out? I hope he is OK. He needs to do another movie such as Chaplin, and get nominated for an Oscar. He is certainly of the caliber. My guess regarding Depp is that he has so much going on, he will turn down the OZ part.

    February 3, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dee

    Depp and RDJ are old– why can't we go w/ someone in their 30s at least– like Paul Rudd??

    February 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TimoT

    Darn, i was hoping someday a director of caliber would be brave enough to redo the classic "Wizard of Oz." Not this story, or the 3D animation with Leah Michele. Who is this Leah Michele and why is she being nominated for acting awards? GLEE is a decent show, but Leah Michele's role could be played by anyone else, and i do mean anyone else on the planet.

    February 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Geoff

    Tired of the same faces again and again. Use some fresh face or use some fine actor we haven't seen for a while. And enough with the Hollywood remakes; make something original for a change. Hollywood just sucks.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JW

    Robin Williams

    January 31, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. oldguy

    that's either the worst wig I've ever seen or the best haircut that's supposed to look like the worst wig.

    January 30, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J.P.

    The perfect actor to play Oz: CRISPIN GLOVER!!!

    January 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alwozman

    First off I agree botht that RDJ would have been good for the role and that I don't want to see Depp do this role too. He is good at zaney characters but its becoming over done. He had Alice, leave Oz alone. Most importantly did you not notice it said controlled by two witches? There were clearly three (in the classic movie version- four in the books) not only two witches ruling over Oz... hmmmm

    January 26, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  16. Wycoff

    I agree with a few other posters here....a fresh face in the role of the mighty and beneficent Oz would be a good thing.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jim D

    Johnny Depp, no way, the movie should star Bruce Campbell, he would be amazing as the the great & powerful (and funny as hell) OZ.

    January 24, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Lizzie

    Noooo - don't hire Jim Carrey for this role. He'll ruin the whole concept and turn it into just another movie about himself. Maybe it's time to go with a lesser-known actor and mold him into the role?

    January 24, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  19. Anne

    aww, I think Robert Downey Jr. would have been great for this role-he has a kind face (especially the eyes) but also wise in a way, JUST the way the wizard is supposed to be. i hope he isn't doing this because he's traumatized from the GGs..but if so, playing this role would bring him back stronger than ever.

    January 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Jim

    Meg Hilty is in Dorthy of Oz not Kristen Chenowith.

    January 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Robert Greenlee

    What you all said. 🙂

    January 22, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  22. Hector Rules NJ

    Seriously, there are other actors besides Depp and Jolie. Dont get me wrong, the are great at what they do, wonderfully talented BUT one gets tired of seeing the same face all the time. There are plenty of known and unknown actors with the talent to pull this off. C'mon Hollywood, time to look outside the box already.

    January 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Feeniegal

    I love both RDJ and Johnny. Mr Quirky 1 & 2. There must be some other actor for that movie..which I've never heard of. But it seems like something I'd like. Maybe Steve Carell or Jim Carrey?

    January 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary K

      Please no, not Jim Carrey or Steve Carrell. I like Steve, cannot abide Carrey. But this role really does sound like it could use someone new. Depp has been in so many of the quirkiest roles over the last several years he is starting to become a bit of a cliche. If it is weird, give it to Johnny. RDJ doesn't play the same kind of roles that Depp does, in my opinion, but also needs to be careful not to end up typecast. It says this is the story of a "young illusionist" so I am thinking it needs someone in his 20's. No offense, but RDJ & Depp are not exactly young anymore! Oh, well, the one thing I am REALLY happy about in this article is that Lea Michelle will be playing an animated Dorothy, not live action. Can't stand those faces she makes when she sings, but love the voice!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  24. candice

    I love Depp, but I really don't want to see him take this roll. I was looking forward to RDJ taking this on and making it great.

    January 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I would be happier if they would find a real actor who is new and talented to take this role. It's a wonderful story, and it shouldn't be clouded by someone's previous experience and clout as a well known star in Hollywood. It may draw more people and more money, since that is really the only thing that matters anymore to most movie-goers, but I would prefer something that is more believable than just another notch on someone's resume.

      January 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • CeeFoR

      Roll? You meant role right? I guess you could have meant roll, something you'll need after watching this crap.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |

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