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A Lesson in Humility

Robert Downey Jr. Might Have Starred In Oz the Great and Powerful Until He Was Mean to a Plant

Once upon a time, in a land far away, director Sam Raimi decided he wanted Tony Sta—sorry, Robert Downey Jr. (easy mistake to make) to play the lead in Oz the Great and Powerful. It didn’t work out, of course. Negotiations fell apart and the role eventually went to James Franco.

But why? There’s a very scandalous reason. Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Raimi gave Downey Jr. a houseplant, and he didn’t water it.


Explains writer Stephen Galloway in The Hollywood Reporter, Raimi and Downey Jr. didn’t quite see eye to eye on the film, so Raimi gave Downey a plant to try and butter him up.

And for the tale’s dramatic conclusion:

Months later, Raimi visited Downey at his Los Angeles home, still attempting to land him, but upon entering the house, Raimi spotted a plant that he had given the actor as a goodwill gesture wilting in a corner. (The filmmaker declines to elaborate.)

I bet you handed him the plant instead of mailing it, didn’t you, Raimi? Curses! You should have known he doesn’t like being handed things!

(via: blastr)

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  • Anonymous

    I’m not so sure about Sam Raimi. He seems to have received a bit too much credits for the Spider-Man movies and now he’s given blockbusters he’s not really suited to do. Bigger is not better and in his case, it’s mostly worse.

  • Roy

    Well, the only one he had a lot of creative control over was Spider-Man 2, which he was then stripped of on Part 3. So I’m going to guess what worked in those movies came from him.

    And early buzz from those who have seen Oz say it’s pretty damn good. Apparently it’s much better than the ads/Alice in Wonderland vibes make it seem. We’ll find out next Friday I guess.

  • Captain ZADL

    I’m pretty sure that Tony’s not much of a plant person. If movie Jarvis can’t take care of it, he doesn’t want it.

  • Anonymous

    Oh God – are you telling me the Wiz could have been played by Downey rather than mopey emo Franco!?
    This must be the most evil timeline

  • Anonymous

    Oh God – are you telling me the Wiz could have been played by Downey rather than mopey emo Franco!?
    This must be the most evil timeline

  • Mandy

    Every single time I see the Oz trailer I get excited because I love the world of Oz and the visuals look so pretty & omg Glinda looks fantastic! …but then there is that tiny feeling of ‘I bet this would have been lots better with RDJ in the lead.’ While RDJ can snark and be lovable at the same time Franco’s brand of snarky arrogance just doesn’t do anything for me.

  • Shae-Marie Martinez

    … well that escalated quickly.

  • Becky

    This was probably a good career move for Downey… every time I see a trailer for Oz, I get that full body shudder I only get when something in my childhood gets violated on screen. I’m not writing off the possibility that it might have it’s moments… I’m just saying that so far, it feels a whole lot like Tim Burton doing remakes of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Willy Wonka.” A whole lot of fancy graphics with a more action packed version of your childhood favorites! (Please let this movie be decent…) On another note… I would love to see RDJ’s reaction to Raimi getting pissed over a plant. I imagine a Tony Snark moment.

  • Marykate Clark

    Dramatic Chipmunk makes this story 1000x more awesome. =-)

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    I feel ya, while actually watching the film I kept thinking “that moment would have gone better with RDJ”. The dialog was weak in spots and RDJ manages to make even slow scenes fun (like when Iron Man 2 stops to set up The Avengers and RDJ eats a donut)