Downey was also slated to star in “Gravity” opposite Sandra Bullock but dropped out in November, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The actor may not be interested so much in taking time off as he is in managing his workload. He has already signed on to reprise his role as Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock Holmes 2.” And will play Tony Stark in “The Avengers” followed by another turn in “Iron Man 3” in 2013.
“Oz, the Great and Powerful,” a prequel to the beloved “Wizard of Oz,” is a top Disney priority and the studio reportedly wants an A-List star like Depp for the project.
Sam Raimi has already signed on to direct.
The movie portrays Oz’s wizard as a young illusionist working with a traveling circus. His hot air balloon is swept up by a tornado to Oz, which is run by two wicked witches.
Depp, who has starred in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and last year’s Alice in Wonderland, could get hung up by scheduling.
Depp’s next project is Tim Burton’s Warner Bros. project “Dark Shadows,” an adaption of the 1960s gothic soap opera.
Depp is also slated to star as Tonto in “The Lone Ranger,” another Disney project in conjunction with Jerry Bruckheimer, according to The Reporter.