Long heralded by critics and a darling of serious, indie cinema, Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz is going as big budget, big tent pole big time as possible: she's signing on to a Disney prequel to an all-time classic film.
Weisz, known best for her dramatic work in "The Constant Gardener," has signed on to play opposite James Franco and Mila Kunis in "Oz: The Great and Powerful," a Sam Raimi-directed prequel to "The Wizard of Oz."
Weisz will play Evanora, an evil witch who seeks to rule the wondrous land; getting in her way are Kunis, who will play Theodora, a before-she-was-evil version of the Wicked Witch of the West, and Franco, who takes on the role of the just-landed salesman who will become the Wizard.
Blake Lively is rumored to be in talks to play the Glinda, the Good Witch of the East.
Weisz, who recently had a child and has limited her film appearances over the past few years, is set to have a very busy 2011 and 2012. She'll appear in three movies this year, playing leads in "Dream House," "Page Eight," and "Dream House," which she stars in with current boyfriend Daniel Craig. In 2012, she'll star with Jude Law and Anthony Hopkins in "360," feature in "The Danish Girl," and appear in a yet to be named Terrence Malick Film.
For more on her casting in "Oz," click over to The Hollywood Reporter.