Robert Downey Jr. the Irish American actor may soon be appearing as the Wizard of Oz in a prequel of the famous Judy Garland movie.

Reports say that Downey will play the role of the Wizard in earlier life, and the movie will explore how he ended up as such a powerful character in the land of Oz.

The movie will be directed by either Sam Mendes of 'American Beauty' fame or by 'Hairspray' director Adam Shankman.

Producer Joe Roth is developing the project.

The new screenplay is said to be 'quite dark", not unlike' Wicked' the runaway Broadway hit based on revisiting the life of the Wicked Witch before she made it big in Oz.

The Wizard seems to be the next in line and Downey should be perfect for the role.

He just did a superb job as Sherlock Holmes, has put all his drug filled past behind him and is emerging as one of the great actors of this era.

The Wizard will be well within his compass and the big question will be who will play along side him. How about Kristen Stewart for Dorothy? She's still young enough.