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Disney shows no sign of slowing down or fear of failure. The studio is already planning to make a sequel to director Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” which opens nationwide on Friday.  With confidence on their side, the studio has commissioned screenwriter Mitchell Kapner, who co-wrote the first film with David Lindsay-Abaire. 

Disney would not comment on the details for the sequel to Raimi’s film, except that the material will come from author L. Frank Baum’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” which lies in public domain.  Any iconic creative material made for the original 1939 MGM film — for example, Dorothy’s ruby slippers —  can not be used because Warner Bros. owns the film.

Kapner has a solid screenwriting background.  His previous screenplays include “The Whole Nine Yards,” “Romeo Must Die,” “The Whole Ten Yards, ” and “Days of Wrath.” Disney hired Kapner months ago to write the sequel.  The film has received positive reviews from critics.  It is expected to domestically gross about $80 million this weekend alone.

Here’s the storyline for “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” which debuts tomorrow.

Oscar Diggs (James Franco,) a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. At first he thinks he’s hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking. That all changes, however, when he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis,) Evanora (Rachel Weisz,) and Glinda (Michelle Williams,) 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.

The action/adventure/fantasy film “Oz: The Great and Powerful” will open in theaters on March 8th. It stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Abigail Spencer, Joey King, Bill Cobbs, Tony Cox, Martin Klebba, Tim Holmes, Mia Serafino, Toni Wynne, Bruce Campbell, Stephen R. Hart, Rob Crites, Ted Raimi, Dashiell Raimi, Oliver Raimi, and Emma Raimi. Mitchell Kapner, and David Lindsay-Abaire wrote the screenplay based on the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Sam Raimi directs.

Sources: variety