The Word Garage

The Word Garage

Early Edition: Abigail Spencer Plays With ‘Oz,’ Giovanni Ribisi Joins ‘Gangster Squad,’ More

‘Mad Men’s’ Abigail Spencer has joined Disney’s ‘Oz, the Great and Powerful,’ Sam Raimi’s prequel of sorts to ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ In the film, James Franco plays Oz, a sideshow magician who has to flee town in a hot air balloon, landing in a strange land that is in the midst of a battle between three witches, played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Spencer will play a young woman who is a willing subject of Oz’s magic tricks in Kansas. Production begins later this month in Michigan.

The comic books and vampires keep a-comin’. Warner Bros. has picked up Image Comics’ ‘Undying Love,’ a comic book mini-series that mixes traditional vampire lore with Chinese monster myths and Hong Kong action. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story centers on an ex-soldier who falls for a girl who happens to be a vampire and the only way the two can be together is if he takes on the vampire who created her, which also means fighting an army of monsters in the Hong Kong underworld.

Seth Rogen, Will Reiser, Evan Goldberg and Jonathan Levine are ‘Jamaica’ bound. The quartet — who collaborated on the cancer comedy ’50/50,’ which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rogen and Anna Kendrick and is slated for a Sept. 30 release — have joined forces to develop a feature film for Mandate Pictures based on a vacation Reiser took with his grandmother when he was 14. “This is a story that I’ve long wanted to tell,” Reiser said. “It’s something of a passion project for me, and I couldn’t be more excited to have found it a home at Mandate.” Rogen and Goldberg will produce, Reiser will write the script and Levine is attached to direct. [TheWrap]

There’s some action brewing on ‘The Gangster Squad,’ a project we haven’t heard much about lately: Giovanni Ribisi has landed a co-starring role in Warner Bros’ period crime drama about gangster Mickey Cohen and the elite Los Angeles police squad that went after him in the late 1940s. Sean Penn stars as Cohen and Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin star as members of the gangster squad. Ribisi will play Conway Keeler, a cop in the group who is a master of electronics and wires. Ruben Fleischer (‘Zombieland’) directs. [Deadline]