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Robert Downey Jr. drops out of Oz, Johnny Depp steps in?

01.20.2011
Get your ass to Oz, Johnny. It seems Robert Downey, Jr. has fallen out of Disney's upcoming sorta-prequel OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL.

That's according to THR's Heat Vision, which is reporting that RDJ has backed out of the role of the titular wizard in an effort to clear his 2011 schedule (he's also already dropped out of Alfonso Cuaron's GRAVITY). Replacing him, though, may in fact be Disney fave Johnny Depp who is reportedly now in negotiations with the Mouse House to step into the hot air balloon.

Director Sam Raimi will be at the helm of the picture, directing "the tale of Oz as a young illusionist with a grandiose attitude who is forced to flee a traveling circus. His hot air balloon is swept up by a tornado to the land of Oz, which is run by two magical wicked witches."

Depp's participation, however, does seem to be contingent on whether or not Disney can work around the busy actor's schedule. He's currently got Tim Burton's DARK SHADOWS and possibly Gore Verbinski's THE LONE RANGER (another Disney property). DARK SHADOWS (a project that's taken a very long time to become situated) is pretty much locked into place for a production start this spring. THE LONE RANGER, though, is not very far into development and could end up being pushed back in order to make way for OZ, which is apparently a high priority for the studio.
Extra Tidbit: Good switch?

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+1
1:24PM on 01/21/2011

JD Overload

BREAKING NEWS: Hollywood has a big budget film that needs a well known actor to play a quirky role: SOLUTION JOHNNY DEPP!

I am so sick of hearing this name behind all offbeat characters... I love Johnny Depp and completely respect all of his work, but we need to start thinking out of the box...

I would love to see Michael Sheen play this role. I loved him in Tron (kind of stole the show). I can definitley see him as the wizard for Oz!
BREAKING NEWS: Hollywood has a big budget film that needs a well known actor to play a quirky role: SOLUTION JOHNNY DEPP!

I am so sick of hearing this name behind all offbeat characters... I love Johnny Depp and completely respect all of his work, but we need to start thinking out of the box...

I would love to see Michael Sheen play this role. I loved him in Tron (kind of stole the show). I can definitley see him as the wizard for Oz!
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4:26PM on 01/20/2011
YAY! I don't need to see an Oz rehash. Clear the schedule and do Avengers right!!! Then jump right to Iron Man 3!

Now we know what these guys were talking about at the Golden Globes.
YAY! I don't need to see an Oz rehash. Clear the schedule and do Avengers right!!! Then jump right to Iron Man 3!

Now we know what these guys were talking about at the Golden Globes.
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4:02PM on 01/20/2011

I can live with this.

Okay i gotta say i always pictured rdj for Oz he looks similar to him in my opinion but i can deal with depp playing this. Hell do a good job.
Okay i gotta say i always pictured rdj for Oz he looks similar to him in my opinion but i can deal with depp playing this. Hell do a good job.
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3:33PM on 01/20/2011

nope

do some other type of movie sir like a romantic comedy . . . those are always good
do some other type of movie sir like a romantic comedy . . . those are always good
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2:41PM on 01/20/2011
Was never excited for this project. The switch means nothing to me. If I hear this gets as creepy as 'Return to Oz' I might perk up a bit . . .
Was never excited for this project. The switch means nothing to me. If I hear this gets as creepy as 'Return to Oz' I might perk up a bit . . .
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+2
11:42AM on 01/20/2011
i was looking foward to downy im sure depp will do great though
i was looking foward to downy im sure depp will do great though
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10:34AM on 01/20/2011
I think Downey is the better choice, but I'm sure Downey will find another good project to be apart of.

I do think that Downey should do a couple of independent, small budget movies in between all of these big Blockbusters (i.e. The Soloist, Charlie Bartlett, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints). I did enjoy Due Date very much and can't wait to see Sherlock 2 and The Avengers.
I think Downey is the better choice, but I'm sure Downey will find another good project to be apart of.

I do think that Downey should do a couple of independent, small budget movies in between all of these big Blockbusters (i.e. The Soloist, Charlie Bartlett, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints). I did enjoy Due Date very much and can't wait to see Sherlock 2 and The Avengers.
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8:17AM on 01/20/2011
RDJ would have been the cooler choice, though in a way we're seeing too much from both these actors.
RDJ would have been the cooler choice, though in a way we're seeing too much from both these actors.
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7:14AM on 01/20/2011
Gee I'll wonder if he'll be eccentric.
Gee I'll wonder if he'll be eccentric.
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6:43AM on 01/20/2011
Robert Downey, Jr. is one of my favorite working actors. This goes back all the way to CHAPLIN (in other words, before his career upswing with IRON MAN). So you’d think the more I see of the guy, the better, right? Well, I actually feel the opposite. The reason I love Downey is because he was the type of actor you didn’t see much of, but when you did, it was memorable. He’s not just quick-witted, fast-talking and good-looking, but a genuinely great dramatic actor. I know he brought all that to
Robert Downey, Jr. is one of my favorite working actors. This goes back all the way to CHAPLIN (in other words, before his career upswing with IRON MAN). So you’d think the more I see of the guy, the better, right? Well, I actually feel the opposite. The reason I love Downey is because he was the type of actor you didn’t see much of, but when you did, it was memorable. He’s not just quick-witted, fast-talking and good-looking, but a genuinely great dramatic actor. I know he brought all that to bear in IRON MAN, but my problem is that once you’re attached to too many “big” projects, playing the same character (or a variation thereof) there’s a real danger of being overexposed. I mean, he's still got SHERLOCK HOLMES 2, THE AVENGERS and then IRON MAN 3 all waiting for him. That’s a lot of blockbusters for one man. I have no idea what his reasons were for dropping out of this, but I like to think he realized that either he needs some time off for a while, or that he needs to star in a smaller, maybe even an independent, feature. It’s the same with Johnny Depp. He’s a fantastic actor, no doubt, but once you’ve seen him in fifteen consecutive mega-budget films where he plays a different weirdo in each one… it begins to wear a little thin.
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4:20AM on 01/20/2011

Really???

I love Johnney, but the fucker can't be attached to every fantacy movie that comes out. He is only one man. God, if Burton gets attached to this I'm gonna be glade for a Lethal Weapon remake.
I love Johnney, but the fucker can't be attached to every fantacy movie that comes out. He is only one man. God, if Burton gets attached to this I'm gonna be glade for a Lethal Weapon remake.
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2:24PM on 01/20/2011
Ha, great comment...but watch and see Depp get attached to that as well. He really hasn't done a crime thriller (modern one anyway) in years...unless you count The Tourist. I don't.
Ha, great comment...but watch and see Depp get attached to that as well. He really hasn't done a crime thriller (modern one anyway) in years...unless you count The Tourist. I don't.
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