The much-anticipated “Oz” prequel that will be filming in metro Detroit has started looking for extras.
But if you’re average height, forget it.
Casting Associates, a Los Angeles-based company, is using Facebook to get the word out about a search for people 18 or older who are either 4-feet-10-inches and shorter or 6-feet-8-inches and taller.
The extras are needed for “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” a Disney prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” that is being directed by metro Detroit native Sam Raimi and is set to star James Franco and Mila Kunis.
In the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” actors and extras of short stature played the famous Munchkins. Now, more than 70 years later, Casting Associates, which worked on the made-in-Michigan “Real Steel,” is seeking short extras for the “Oz” prequel.
And tall ones. Hmm, that sounds intriguing.
“Oz” was approved for nearly $40 million in Michigan film incentives and expects to spend about $105 million in the state. It was approved in 2010, which means it’s not affected by Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed reduction to the film-incentive program.
Industry sources say work already has started on set construction at Raleigh Michigan Studios, the state-of-the-art facility in Pontiac backed by several prominent local businessmen.
Raleigh has not commented on “Oz” or on any involvement with the project.
A representative for Casting Associates could not comment on the extra search. The Motor City chapter of Little People of America was contacted by the casting people about three months ago, according to chapter president Dee Dee Allemon, whose husband and daughter are trying out for the movie.
An open casting call in Michigan for extras is expected sometime in June. Updates will be posted on the “OZ MI Extras” page on Facebook.
The media profile of little people has increased in recent years, thanks in part to celebrities with Michigan connections. Verne Troyer of “Austin Powers” fame is originally from Sturgis. Martin Klebba, co-star of NBC’s recent “The Cape,” is from Troy.
The popular TLC reality series “Little People, Big World,” which had a series finale in December, also has Michigan ties: Amy Roloff, the show’s wife and mom, is a Michigan native and Central Michigan University graduate.
Allemon thinks the prequel could provide little people with a chance “to be in possibly another classic movie like (“The Wizard of Oz”) and just to have the thrill and be able to tell your kids and your grandkids, ‘Hey, I was in that movie.’ ”
To read more blog articles, click here.