Kimmel noted how Franco’s grandma, Mitzie, was there with him in the audience and she may also appear in the film. Franco confirmed that she came to visit him while he was filming “Oz” in Detroit, Michigan, but he doesn't know if she made the cut in the final film.
Franco explained the concept of the film – how Oz actually becomes the wizard in “The Wizard of Oz.” He said in the same way Dorothy needs to get home and the Tin Man needs a heart, Oz, who is somewhat of a womanizer, needs to get a conscience and become a better person.
In preparation for the film, director Sam Raimi (who also directed Franco in the "Spiderman Trilogy") sent Franco to Vegas for two weeks to learn magic tricks with renowned magician Lance Burton.
“Lance had special doves that work with him and I ended up being able to have a flame arise in my hand and then I could do this [gestures] and it would turn into a dove and pull rabbits out of hats," said Franco.
Kimmel joked that he wanted to do the tricks right then and Franco countered with, “I need Lance and I need special doves.”
James Franco is known for his wide and varied creative interests which include portraying a serial killer named Franco on ABC's longtime daytime soap, "General Hospital," directing films, publishing a book of short stories “Palo Alto,” and featuring work in various art shows, including a recent show in Berlin, which featured some paintings based on high school photos.
He also teaches English and a graduate film class at UCLA on a regular basis. He told Kimmel he makes films in the film class and several famous actors have acted in them, including Oscar winner Natalie Portman (“The Black Swan”) and Oscar nominee Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids”).
Franco stars opposite Oscar nominees Mila Kunis (“The Black Swan”) and Michelle Williams (“My Week with Marilyn”) in “Oz.” The movie was filmed at what was then Raleigh Michigan Studios in Pontiac, Michigan, which, according to a "Detroit Free Press" report, has since changed its name to Michigan Motion Picture Studios.
“Oz the Great and Powerful” opens in theaters nationwide and in Michigan at NCG Cinemas Grand Blanc on March 8, 2013.