Film trailer: James Franco in 'Oz: The Great and Powerful'

The prequel to the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and based on the original books by L. Frank Baum focuses on how a magician, played by James Franco, came to be the wizard of the Emerald City.

Opening in black and white, the trailer shows a magician at a carnival expressing his wish to be a great man. Flying off in a balloon he encounters a tornado, seemingly saved by a top hat. The scene turns colorful as the Emerald City shines in the distance.

In this dreamlike place Oz encounters creatures odd and scary, and witches good and bad, played by Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn), Mila Kunis (The Black Swan) and Rachel Weisz (the upcoming Bourne Legacy).

The fantasy adventure is directed by Sam Raimi, who made the first Spider-Man trilogy.

Oz: The Great and Powerful will open March 7-8, 2013, in North America, Australia, Russia, the UK, European markets, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil, and more. In France it opens April 3.

Watch the trailer: