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INTO THE WOODS Begins Production

A Grimm Tale from Disney

By RObert T. Trate     September 16, 2013
Source: Walt Disney

Disney has officially begun production on Into the Woods. The Award-Winning Stage Show will feature a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Check out the official cast list and press release below. There is still long way to go until its December 25th, 2014 release date. 

Press Release: Disney’s “Into the Woods” kicked off production last week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast. Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” helms the film, which is based on the Tony®-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics—including an all-new song for the big-screen adaptation. “Into the Woods” is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, “Wicked” producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall. Shooting in studio and on location throughout England, the film is slated for a December 25, 2014, holiday release. 

The Plot:  “Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.

 The all-star ensemble cast includes:

·         Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “August: Osage County”) portrays the Witch who wishes to reverse a curse so that her beauty may be restored.

·         Emily Blunt (“Looper,” “The Young Victoria,” “The Devil Wears Prada”) is the Baker’s Wife, a childless woman who longs to be a mother.

·         James Corden (Broadway’s “One Man, Two Guvnors,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Gavin & Stacey”) plays the role of the Baker, a hard-working man who desperately wants to start a family.

·         Anna Kendrick (“Pitch Perfect,” “Up in the Air”) fills the shoes of Cinderella, who finds herself on a journey of self-discovery.

·         Chris Pine (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Jack Ryan”) portrays Cinderella’s Prince, charming and impossibly handsome, who is on an endless quest to find his bride.

·         Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “The Lone Ranger,” “Sweeney Todd”) steps in as the Wolf, who sets his sights on Little Red Riding Hood.

·         Lilla Crawford (Broadway’s “Annie”) makes her feature-film debut as Little Red Riding Hood, a smart and spunky girl who journeys into the woods, finding unexpected adventures along the way.

·         Daniel Huttlestone (“Les Misérables”) lands the role of Jack, an absentminded and adventurous boy who trades his treasured cow for five magic beans. 

·         Tracey Ullman joins the cast as Jack’s Mother, a poor and exasperated mom who is overwhelmed, yet fiercely protective of her son.

·         Christine Baranski (“Mamma Mia!,” “Chicago” “The Good Wife”) takes on the infamous Stepmother who wishes for riches and grandeur; she'll do anything to marry off one of her daughters to a prince. 

·         MacKenzie Mauzy (“Brother’s Keeper,” Broadway’s “Next to Normal”) plays Rapunzel, a sheltered young woman who experiences the world beyond her tower for the first time.

·         Billy Magnussen (Broadway’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The East”) is the dashing and eager Prince who courts Rapunzel.

Celebrated actors from the stage and screen fill the supporting roles, including Tammy Blanchard (“Blue Jasmine,” “The Good Shepherd”) and Lucy Punch (“Bad Teacher,” “Dinner for Schmucks”) as Cinderella’s spoiled stepsisters, Florinda and Lucinda. Richard Glover (“Sightseers,” “St. Trinian’s”) is the Princes’ royal steward, Frances de la Tour (“Hugo,” “Alice In Wonderland”) portrays the giant, and Simon Russell Beale (“The Deep Blue Sea”) is the Baker’s father. Actress Joanna Riding (“My Fair Lady,” “Carousel”) portrays Cinderella’s late mother, and Little Red Riding Hood’s beloved granny is played by Annette Crosbie (“Calendar Girls,” “The Slipper and the Rose”).

The big-screen adaptation welcomes songs from the stage musical, including “Children Will Listen,” “Giants in the Sky,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” “No One Is Alone” and “Agony,” among others. Additionally, Sondheim has penned an all-new song for the story’s theatrical debut.

The award-winning production team includes Dion Beebe (“Collateral,” “Chicago,” “Nine”), Oscar® winner for the Marshall-helmed “Memoirs of a Geisha,” as director of photography. Dennis Gassner (“Skyfall,” “Quantum of Solace”), who won his own Oscar for “Bugsy,” serves as production designer, and three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Chicago,” “Alice In Wonderland”) is costume designer.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 8 of 8
1 
BunyonSnipe 9/16/2013 3:41:13 PM

Is Depp playing BOTH wolves or is the Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood also going to be The Big Bad Wolf from the Three Little Pigs?

BunyonSnipe 9/16/2013 3:42:16 PM

It's just that in the stage version they are two different Wolves...

Modo 9/16/2013 4:08:24 PM

Never seen the Into the Woods stage show, but I'm getting awfully tired of this live action, fairy-tale, Brothers Grimm stuff - everything from Ledger & Damon in the Brothers Grimm, the Hansel and Gretel movie, Grimm on TV, Once Upon a Time, Snow White and the Huntsmen - I'm certain I'm forgetting a pile more.  This movie doesn't excite me at all, even with the "studded" cast.  I think I've just about had enough of Johnny Depp in these Fairy Tale roles also...none of this feels original to me. 

 

jetpackjesus 9/16/2013 7:34:04 PM

If they do this any justice at all, it should be an entertaining movie.  Into the Woods puts a fun, dark spin on a lot of familiar fairy tales and actually brings a lot of reality into the mix.  I really enjoyed the show when I saw it.

This SHOULD be good, but it wouldn't be the first time a good musical was poorly adapted for the screen.

Muenster 9/16/2013 11:12:52 PM

And all the queers rejoiced.

Redshirt1 9/17/2013 4:20:00 AM

I am calling Shenanigans on you Modo. Into The Woods debuted in 1986 in San Diego, and then on Broadway in 1987. It won several Tony awards, including Best Score, Best Book, and Best Actress. Conversely The Brothers Grimm opened in 2005, Hansel and Gretel was 2013, Grimm was 2011, as was Once Upon A Time, and Snow White and the Huntsmen was 2012. So while this version of Into The Woods might be a remake it nonetheless was still the first and therefore is original when compared to the movies and TV shows you mentioned.

Chance375 9/17/2013 10:51:20 AM

@ Muenster:  So you must be dancing your ass off.  Broadway Musicals are not restricted to gays and women.  I took my wife to see this when it was revived with Vanessa Williams playing the witch and I enjoyed it just as much as she did.

 

@ Bunyon: 2 wolves?  I don't remember that.  I'll have to check out prime or netfix.

Aurenne 9/17/2013 11:07:59 AM

This is one of my all time favorite musicals and I still watch the original PBS live production (with Bernadette Peters) at least once a year (it is available streaming on Netflix) and I really really hope they don't screw it up!

BTW - There is only 1 wolf in the original version, but  a second wolf (and the pigs) were added in the revival production (which I haven't seen) - that may be some of the confusion.

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