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Sam Raimi Locked Down for Oz, the Great and Powerful

It's official: Sam Raimi is onboard to direct Disney's Oz, the Great and Powerful, the studio's attempt to do for The Wizard of Oz what Tim Burton did for Alice in Wonderland (namely, wring a billion dollars from it). Forget the fact that Raimi was offered the gig back in June and supposedly said yes then — now it's really for real, okay? One sticking point remains, however: Intended star Robert Downey Jr. hasn't committed to the film, though Disney is hoping to entice him with a rewrite by David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole). Can we suggest another provision that might put him at ease?: A blood oath from Disney head Rich Ross that Downey Jr. won't have to reprise Johnny Depp's cringe-inducing jig from the end of Alice. [Deadline]

Photo: Kristian Dowling/Getty Images