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James Franco next on list for “Oz, The Great and Powerful”

First Robert Downey Jr. passed. Now, Johnny Depp says no. So when Hollywood's two biggest middle-aged male stars say no, who do you turn to?  James Franco, apparently. Franco has yet to sign on or even talk to director Sam Raimi about the roles, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog, but he's the next name on the list.

Luckily, Disney doesn't plan to film until in the latter half of 2011, so there's time to decide. Though the Oscar-nominated Franco is quite a bit younger than the former “Oz” contenders Depp and Downey Jr., Disney’s pursuit makes sense as this year saw a huge rise in his popularity. He had box-office hits in Date Night and Eat Pray Love, a lauded and Oscar-nominated performance in the Aron Ralston biopic 127 Hours and he landed the prestigious gig of co-hosting this year's Oscars ceremony alongside Anne Hathaway. This year, he will star in a prequel to
Planet of the Apes due out around Thanksgiving.

Despite his rising star, this still feels like an odd choice, similar to Kristen Stewart as Snow White: talented actors but strange picks for these particular roles. 

Any thoughts on Franco making a trip to the Land of Oz?


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