With the next 007 film in suspension, Oscar winner Sam Mendes is under consideration as the director of a prequel planned for The Wizard of Oz, with Robert Downey Jr. as a possibility in the lead role.
Instead of following Dorothy, in this version of the story, based on parts of the original L. Frank Baum's Oz books, Downey Jr. would play The Wizard from a traveling circus who mysteriously lands in Oz.
Other Wizard of Oz projects in development at various studios include a film called Oz by the Twilight producer, an action-adventure about Dorothy's granddaughter returning to the Emerald City to battle evil forces, and an adaptation of the theatrical musical Wicked.
Next, Downey Jr. will star as Iron Man 2, due in theaters around the world the week of April 28 and in the US May 7, and for 2012 he reprises the role in Marvel's The Avengers. This November he co-stars in the romantic company Due Date with Juliette Lewis and Zach Galifianakis. Also, a sequel to his hit Sherlock Holmes is in pre-production.