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First look: James Franco as the Wizard of Oz

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A unique first look at James Franco’s new film Oz: The Great and the Powerful – in which he plays a young Wizard of Oz – is currently pinging its way across the internet, and with a few confirmed James Franco fans in the Stylist offices (that’s a lie, we ALL love him!), we thought it only our duty to bring said image to you.

ABOVE: The first look at James Franco as the Wizard of Oz

Posted yesterday by the James Franco Forever fansite, the grainy shot - taken from what looks like an Italian promo leaflet - shows Franco in his Wizard of Oz guise wearing a top hat and morning coat with a hot air balloon beside him.

Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Zach Braff alongside James Franco, filming of the Walt Disney production began late last year but unusually no on-set or final-cut pictures have emerged except this promo snap.

ABOVE: James Franco has said that the film will feature "characters [that] are very funny in a old Hollywood way"

Telling the story of Oz when he was just plain old Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, The Wizard of Oz prequel imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved character way before Dorothy and Toto put in an appearance.

ABOVE: Rachel Weisz will play one of the three witches in Oz: The Great and the Powerful

When Oscar gets whisked away to the Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot. Fame and fortune are his for the taking - that is until he meets three witches, Evanora (Rachel Weisz), Glinda (Michelle Williams) and Theodora (Mila Kunis), who are not convinced that he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Oscar must use his ingenuity and a touch of magic to pull off the biggest trick of his life – to turn himself into the Wizard of Oz.

Now, we can’t wait until this grainy promo snap is magic-ed into the full film on March 8 2013.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to seeing James Franco in all his wizarding finery? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below

Image credit:jamesfrancoforever.tumblr.com and Rex

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