Robert Downey Jr. has detached himself from "Oz, the Great and Powerful". The "Sherlock Holmes" actor, who recently pulled out of Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity", has dropped out of the project which will serve as a prequel to "Wizard of Oz" though his last comment sounded positive. "My management firm says it might be a go. I'll hook up with Sam and see what he thinks," he said back in June 2010.
While The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported Downey Jr.'s departure, does not mention a reason of his departure, the site has already known an actor who might take over the role. Johnny Depp is said in talks with Walt Disney Pictures to portray the titular character. But the problem is far from being solved since they should work out the timing.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor, who is known for his busy schedule, is expected to begin filming Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" this spring and is attached to "The Lone Ranger", another movie from Disney. In the meantime, the studio has put "Oz" on top of their priority and hopes to start production in the second half of the year.
Based on the Oz books written by L. Frank Baum, "Oz, the Great and Powerful" will follow Oz's life before he was a wizard, back when he was just a circus performer from Omaha. Mitchell Kapner has written the script for the movie, but it is reported to be rewritten. Sam Raimi is on board to direct the action adventure flick.
Before report of his departure from "Oz" comes out, Robert Downey Jr. has reportedly signed on to voice Mr. Peabody in DreamWorks's "Peabody & Sherman", a 3-D animation which is aimed for 2014 release.