Oz The Great and Powerful
James Franco stars as the con man who will become the Wizard of Oz.

The first trailer has been unveiled for Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful.

The new footage of the 3D film, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz, was unveiled by director Sam Raimi at Comic-Con in San Diego.

The film tells the story of the background of the Wizard of Oz, who Dorothy travels to meet in the 1939 original, as James Franco's character Oscar Diggs is travelling by balloon, hits a storm and is transported to the magical world.

The footage pays tribute to the original film by starting in black and white and small screen, before widening into spectacular Technicolour as Diggs travels to the fantasy land.

With spectacular vistas and seamless CGI effects, the film looks like it will be another visual showstopper for Disney, while it has a strong cast, with Franco, Williams and Kunis marking themselves out as talent to watch. Weisz certainly has the dramatic abilities to be an evil witch to rival that of Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman.

Raimi, who showed his ability to handle a huge budget with the successful Spiderman trilogy, is still best known for his horror series The Evil Dead, so it is interesting to see him take the helm for a fully-fledged family film. Although an image of a sharp-toothed fairy suggests he will inject his own dark touches.

The film's trailer makes it clear that this is a film aiming to capitalise on the 3D craze, with flames, hats, monster plants and the iconic flying monkeys roaring out of the screen at every opportunity.

Released in March 2013, the next trip into Oz is a fair way off, but on the strength of this footage suggests Disney will have another hit on its hands.