The Hollywood Reporter said that Johnny Depp, who had previously been linked with the Wizard Of Oz prequel, has declined the role after 'several meetings'.
Franco is reportedly being considered to play a young illusionist on the run from a travelling circus. The character ends up in the land of Oz after his hot air balloon is caught up in a tornado.
Sources claim that Franco and director Sam Raimi have not yet met to discuss the film and that the actor is only in preliminary discussions for the role.
Pre-production for Oz, The Great And Powerful is underway and it is thought to be a top priority for Disney.