James Franco books a return trip to Oz in Sam Raimi’s fantasy prequel
By Devin D. O’Leary
The massive success of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland three years ago kicked off an at-times wearying string of fairy tale updates (Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Jack the Giant Slayer, ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”). That film’s $330 million domestic box office certainly incentivized Disney to come up with more family fantasy reboots. Oddly enough, instead of dipping into the deep well of already Disneyfied fairy tales, the company has decided to go with a story made famous by crosstown rivals at MGM.
History Channel, having exhausted the possibilities of Nazi-based documentaries, long ago turned its attention to reality television—both faintly historical (“American Pickers”) and not-at-all-historical (“Big Rig Bounty Hunters”). Sadly, they missed the window of opportunity on a Nazi hunter reality show. (Tracking down 90-year-old mass murderers sounds kinda depressing.) Now, the network is giving fiction a try with its first scripted, episodic series, “Vikings.”