1WATCH THIS: The ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Trailer is Here and James Franco’s Head Did Not Dominate, Thankfully
But don’t take it from me—take it from Sam Raimi, who’s (Sam Raimi is a demigod in some circles, being that he was the mastermind behind ‘Evil Dead’, which, if you haven’t seen it, GO NOW) directing the flick. From the movie’s Comic Con panel:
Sam Raimi on ‘Oz’: “This is a very straightforward family picture. I would say it’s a very classically Disney type of movie. It’s all about these characters and their interactions with each other, the friendships they make. How some characters are sinners, how they hurt others, how those sins can grow. It’s about finally recognizing the things you do in this world have consequences, and how to be the best person you can be is really the story of this film. That’s the most exciting kind of story for me, the ones that have character growth, and I think James Franco’s character has a little bit of character growth in this film.”
Mila Kunis on working with Sam Raimi: “Listen, Sam is fantastic. I don’t know where to begin. I would do craft service for Sam if he asked me to.”
Michelle Williams on Sam Raimi, also: “I had never made a movie like this before. I’ve never made such a big movie before. I didn’t know what it was going to be like. I didn’t know if the things that concern me, Sam would have time for, or patience for. Not only did he have time and patience in the beginning when we were rehearsing, he had patience for them on the 17th hour of the sixth day. For me it was a very holistic experience; it was a real melding of my work life and my personal life. My film family and my real family.”
Raimi, on James Franco: “He’s a great collaborator. James was much less collaborative when I first worked with him. He was a real serious actor, I think he still had his James Dean hat on; he was doing it his way. I worked with him with certain limitations. We couldn’t communicate about everything as deeply as we did on this picture. [In this movie] there was a great sense of openness, collaboration, and patience. Now that James is a filmmaker, he understands all the things that go into a shot. He’s developed that patience.”
On the flying monkeys in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, and whether they will have a part in ‘Oz’: “The teaser they showed today, the Wicked Witch has an army of flying baboons. We’re actually still developing them, but the teaser demanded that they come out right now. There is also a flying monkey in the story, different than the baboons, a nice flying monkey, so don’t worry.”
On whether the book Wicked was thrown around in the idea of developing this movie: “No. We were just using Baum’s books as a road map. We stayed with the thesis: who is that guy behind the curtain?”
So. Are we all in agreement that this movie’s going to be pretty darn fabulous? Because duh, it is.
July 13, 2012 at 9:30 am by Sarah
Just a few things I want to say
about this sneak peek about James Franco—
—There’s such a large part of me that wants to punch James Franco right in the face. I know he’s harmless enough (at least in this video), but still. The fact remains.
—”I’m an English student now.” Yeah, well, too f-cking bad you can’t speed your speaking pace up a bit and quit savoring the sound of every single word coming out of your damn mouth.
—UGH JAMES FRANCO.
With regard to the film itself, as per the synopsis:
When Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot–fame and fortune are his for the taking–that is until he meets three witches, Theodora, Evanora and Glinda, who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity–and even a bit of wizardry–Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
I’m not going to lie—it sounds pretty good. I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of the original Wizard of Oz movie (and books, of course), and I think this could be pretty decent, if done properly. Let’s just hope James Franco and his Big Giant Head doesn’t ruin it for everyone involved, you know?
July 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm by Sarah
We haven’t talked about James Franco since last year, can you believe it? When we last heard of him, he’d gotten a professor fired for giving him a bad grade, but what is he up to these days? He’s probably smoking weed, and he’s definitely starting to look like the creepy guy who hit on me in the cat section of the bookstore last week. But most importantly, he’s crushing on Kristen Stewart.
See, James went to see Snow White and the Huntsman with his makeup artist, Nana, and Iris, his “Mexican producing associate.” The movie made him feel a lot of feelings, so he wrote a blog about them for the Huffington Post. If you want to read the whole thing, here’s the link, but I’m just going to show you the parts where he’s popping an intellectual boner for Kristen, all right?
Here’s the first one:
Some critics might go after the actors for being flat — Nana said it seemed like Hemsworth was playing Thor in different clothes, and Iris, who worked on the first two Twilight films, praised Stewart but was still reminded of Bella Swan. We discussed, and Iris and Nana came around. They blamed the actors less — I mean, the actors are going to look like themselves from movie to movie; it’s not like they’re character actors — and started to look at the material they’d been given to work with. If Stewart and Hemsworth don’t entirely pull off the romance of the year, it’s the fault not of their acting as much as the script’s structure. And if their previous incarnations are trailing them, that has less to do with their performances than with the overwhelmingly large place their previous roles occupy in our present culture. Whether they heed it or not, those two are under a ton of pressure: Is Chris just an unusually rugged man with a deep voice, or can he play anything other than a Norse god? Is Kristen just a pouty Vampire lover riding a temporary wave of pop culture madness, or is she the real deal? I believe that they are both talented and special performers who make the most of their material in this film.
He actually called Kristen Stewart a “talented and special performer.” I’m sorry, but no.
So, the conflict is ultimately between two females who represent innocent youth (Stewart) and aging beauty (Theron), each of whom is fighting to control the throne. Sadly, this can be seen as an analog to the dynamics faced by actresses (and, to an extent, actors) today. The old guard will always be wary of the new guard, but the fact is that women in entertainment still depend on their looks more than men do. Even two powerhouses like Theron and Stewart are beholden to the dictates of a man’s world.
I see what James is saying here, and I agree with it, but “two powerhouses like Theron and Stewart,” really? Even if you believe Kristen Stewart is a good actress, I can’t believe that anyone would consider her a powerhouse, much less a powerhouse on the same level as Charlize Theron.
Some could say she had a lucky break when she was cast in Twilight and then rose to international stardom based less on her own skills than on the success of the project. But, whereas Snow White would more than likely be inarticulate, diseased and frail after being confined in a tower for 10 years, Kristen Stewart landed Twilight after years of working with some of the best directors in the business (David Fincher, Sean Penn). She actually does deserve the crown.
I know that Kristen Stewart did a lot of work before Twilight, but James is actually claiming that she’s such a huge star now because of her acting and not because of the movie she acted in. There is no way that he actually believes that.
Stewart has braved more scrutiny of her private life than most presidents. She has taken big career risks by doing films like Welcome to the Rileys, The Runaways and On the Road (nudity, I hear). She has worked her ass off. Whatever Snow White may be, Kristen is a warrior queen. Give her the crown.
Can we please see James Franco and Robert Pattinson get into a brawl over Kristen Stewart now?
June 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm by Emily
But Professor R. John Williams, Franco’s adviser at Yale, recalls a different student. In Williams’ obsequious Slate column, he describes James Franco as a model student with, uh, plenty of time on his hands:
So what is James like as a reader of scholarly work? I’ve often heard it expressed that he must be a mountebank, since no single person could be doing as many things as he does. How could he possibly be simultaneously reading for a Yale Ph.D and filming a multimillion-dollar motion picture? How could he possibly have time to write anything when he’s also teaching a class at NYU and starring so many films? I’ve wondered the same thing myself. But on that trip to Detroit, I learned a secret. People think that when you’re the star of a film, your time must be chock-full with endless minutia—appearances, conversations, getting “into character,” and so on. But when you’re the star, you end up just sitting around a lot.
So when you see James’s character with his arm trapped under a rock in 127 Hours, what you don’t see is that there was an assigned reading under the rock with it. When he’s playfully wrestling with a genetically-enhanced chimpanzee in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, just off to the right of the shot was a stack of books.
The truth is, if you’re an A-list Hollywood star like James Franco, and are willing to put the time into earning a Ph.D, you may actually have more time to read than many of your colleagues. Heck, you don’t even have to worry about the grocery shopping, laundry, and other sundry tasks that every other poor graduate student in the country has to worry about. After visiting Detroit, the thing I found myself wondering was not “How does James do it?” but rather “Why aren’t more Hollywood actors earning Ph.Ds?”
So there you have it: it’s always gratifying to teach an earnest student, but teaching James Franco is the most gratifying of all.
In the meantime, John Tintori—he’s the film chair at Tisch School of the Arts—stresses that Professor José Angel Santana’s contract simply expired. No more, no less.
December 22, 2011 at 6:30 am by Jenn
Awww, poor little James Franco! He works so hard getting all those degrees, and some mean old professor thinks he can get away with giving him a D! Not so fast, meany pants! Sure, Franco missed 12 classes, and yeah, there were only 14 classes in total, but I bet he worked really, really hard for those two classes! You’re just jealous! I’m glad you got fired!
Yes, this happened. A professor at NYU is claiming that he was fired for giving James Franco a D and also for being Hispanic, and now he’s suing the university:
José Angel Santana — who taught Franco in his “Directing the Actor” class — is now suing the University for his job back, claiming he was wrongfully terminated … because he’s an Hispanic man with the audacity to give Franco a low grade.
When people found out that Santana gave Franco a D, Santana claims he suffered all sorts of public humiliation — at the hands of James Franco … and the University itself, which ultimately fired him … something he claims would never have happened to a white professor.
According to Santana, other teachers played favorites with Franco, including fellow professor Jay Anania … who Franco hired to write and direct the film “Shadows & Lies.”
Santana groused, “In my opinion, they’ve turned the NYU graduate film degree into swag for James Franco’s purposes, a possession, something you can buy.”
Can you see this happening? Because I certainly can. Franco’s always been a bit full of himself, and he’s not exactly known for his maturity. It’s completely plausible that he would have the gall to throw a fit for almost failing after missing 12 out of 14 classes, and it’s also completely ridiculous. I’ve had professors that automatically fail students after two unexcused absences, and I thought that was fair. Man, if I was in James’ class, I would be completely pissed that he even got a D. I’d be like “fail that son of a bitch, he doesn’t care, he’s hosting the Oscars.” Ugh.
What do you guys think?
December 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm by Emily
In a sense, Mr. Franco knows all about fan art: during TIFF proceedings on Sunday, Franco visited Toronto to discuss his own Gus Van Sant -inspired art installation, “Memories of Idaho.” (He himself was 13 when Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho was in theaters.)
And that was when Mr. Franco spied our young heroine, Macy, in the crowd. She was wearing a homemade T-shirt (with Franco’s face emblazoned on it) and carrying a painting, a collage, and a portrait made of yarn (pictured).
“I was holding up my yarn poster for James to see,” Macy wrote afterward, “and he did! He smiled, pointed to it, and jokingly said he wanted to buy it. I just about died!”
Members of the audience giggled, but Mr. Franco wasn’t joking. He had recognized Macy’s work immediately. “I saw that one on the Internet, someone sent it to me,” he continued seriously. “I wanna buy those.”
And despite adorable reports to the contrary, Macy would like to point out that Mr. Franco did not “buy those”—she gave them to him for free! (“I would never make James Franco pay for something if I could help it!” Macy writes on her Tumblr.) Macy! Let James Franco buy your work if he wants to! He can afford it!
Mr. Franco also answered young Macy’s questions during Q&A. Since you were wondering about his cats, he flew Sammy and Zelda to Detroit, where he is filming Oz.
Mr. Franco left TIFF with all three pieces of art, including the collage below. It’s brilliant; it’s like a portrait of a teenage girl’s brain.