It was previously mentioned that Robert Downey Jr. would star as the Wizard, and then there were murmurs about Johnny Depp taking on the role but now it appears that James Franco will star in this prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Filming to begin in July at Walt Disney Studios.
James Franco and Mila Kunis
Update: Rachel Weisz to play evil witch? (in negotiations)
Update: Michelle Williams has signed on to play Glinda, the good witch.
From Vulture: "The closely guarded Oz script, reimagined most recently by playwright turned screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole; Inkheart), tells the story of the origins of the Wizard, and of Oz's infamous witches like Glinda, who becomes the Good Witch of the North, and Evanorah, who becomes the Wicked Witch of the East (though best remembered as the new, ruby-slippered sub-basement of Dorothy’s farmhouse).
After a recent meeting with Sam Raimi and Wizard James Franco, all agreed that Mila Kunis would be perfect for the part of Theodorah, the younger sister of Evanorah who goes on to become the Wicked Witch of the West and, of course, to cackle iconic lines like, “I’ll get you, my pretty … and your little dog, too!” With her involvement assured, we're told that Franco finally agreed to do the picture."
Re-posting plot details found at Pajiba: "We also knew that the movie would focus on a younger wizard, and his origins in the Land of Oz. Thanks to the Hollywood Cog, we now know quite a few details about Mitchell Kapner’s story, which would have the Wizard — a snake-oil salesman posing as a magician — enter Oz via a hot-air balloon, which he uses to escape an angry husband who has found out that Oz slept with his wife. There, Oz — a fast-talking huckster who wears a velveteen frock coat (yes, I can see that) — falls in love with Glinda (the Good Witch), and the two combine forces to Fight the Evil Witches Evanora and Theodora. Theodora starts out as a good witch, but after Oz jilts her sexual advances, Evanora — the truly evil witch — convinces Theodora to become an evil witch with her and help her to rule all of Oz."