Sam Raimi Wants Hilary Swank for OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Studio Not Too Sure

Director and studio at odds over casting.

Vulture reports that Sam Raimi (‘Spider-Man,’ ’Evil Dead’) is looking to cast two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank to play one of the elder witches in ‘Oz, the Great and Powerful,’ but according to Vulture’s sources, Disney is strongly opposed to the idea.

According to the sources, Disney wants to cast Michelle Williams (‘Blue Valentine’), herself a two-time Oscar nominee, in the role.

The movie, a prequel to 1939’s ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ will be told from the point of view of the Wizard. “A fast-talking snake oil salesman and illusionist who flees a travelling circus and winds up whisked away in a hot air balloon by a tornado to Oz where he must face off against real magic and the sisters battling for control of the land.”

The cast includes James Franco, playing the title role and Mila Kunis as Theodora, the youngest of the three witches, who later becomes Wicked Witch of the West.

Raimi went through a similar problem with Sony when they objected to his choice of actor to portray Peter Parker in ‘Spider-Man,’ with Sony wanting Wes Bentley (‘American Beauty’) instead of Tobey Maguire.