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FILM ROUND-UP Off To See The Wizard


With the same production team as Alice in Wonderland, Oz The Great and Powerful is a live-action story about the power of friendship and camaraderie in the face of evil in a strange and spectacular world unlike any other. “It’s visually stunning,” said Becki Fleming, franchise business director. With its theatrical release on March


8th this year, Oz The Great and Powerful imagines the origins of the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small time circus magician with dubious ethics, is transported away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot, until he meets three witches who are not convinced that he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. With a lot of magic and a splash of humour, a


Oz Insights


• Director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy which has achieved global box offi ce of $2.8b).


• Producer, Joe Roth (Alice in Wonderland).


• Visionary production designer Robert Stromberg (twice Academy Award winner for art direction - Alice in Wonderland and Avatar).


• Film cast includes James Franco Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams.


quirky band of characters – including a lovable rogue magician, three beautiful and mysterious witches, a fl ying monkey, a china doll, and a team of Munchkins, there is something for everyone in this movie. “Oz will be a new family classic with tremendous heart, appealing broadly to kids, tweens, teens, and adults,” predicted Becki. “We are developing fashion-led merchandise programmes inspired by circus themes, the wonderful emerald city and lots of bubbles!”


Hi Ho Silver


The Lone Ranger live action movie, scheduled for its theatrical launch on August 9th 2013, is a new take on a classic western tale but with a modern twist; an odd couple buddy movie with an intense wild west adventure back drop.


“ It’s a strong


franchises that has really stood the test of time – at its centre is a masked hero on a quest for truth and justice,” commented franchise business director Becki Fleming.


In its 80 year history


on radio, television and film, broad audiences from adults to kids felt so connected to this character that they returned week


after week for his next adventure with his Native American sidekick, Tonto. The


Lone Ranger Insights


• The fi lm reunites the fi lmmaking team of the fi rst three Pirates of the Caribbean blockbusters - producer Jerry Brukheimer and director Gore Verbinski - with Johnny Depp, who created Captain Jack Sparrow in his iconic, Academy Award nominated performances.


• An online trailer launched in December. A SPECIAL MAX PUBLISHING © Disney 99 disney PUBLICATION 2013


masked aspirational hero tapped into a timeless boys play pattern, spawning merchandise from action figures to comics to role play. So how is Disney going to replicate


and transcend this success into the modern day audience? From a merchandise point of view Disney will leverage the filmmaker’s pedigree and key film moments including the key icons from the film: the silver bullet, his trusted horse Silver and even that iconic mask. The Lone Ranger will be a twist on


the hero’s story that will include ground- breaking action sequences, humour, romance and the signature William Tell Overture reinvented with a rock ’n’ roll feel. “The UK family and boy audiences


have tested strongly to The Lone Ranger, and while there is some familiarity


they are open to this refreshed franchise launching with a clean slate,” Becki added. “There is a lot of anticipation for Johnny Depp’s character – Tonto. We have already signed LEGO as master toy licensee which we’re very excited about and boys and adult men’s merchandise from a variety of licensees which will be hitting stores from June.”


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