Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep filming together and singing. Who can resist? Not Disney any longer. It’s taken 16months to get off the ground — ever since January 2012, when the studio sent out a press release announcing Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) would be directing Stephen Sondheim’s iconic 1987 Broadway musical “Into The Woods” as a feature film for Disney. A table read was held in NYC this past October featuring Donna Murphy, Megan Hilty, Christine Baranski, Allison Janney and quite a few other Broadway stars.
Buzz of Streep’s interest first surfaced last summer and this past week Marshall confirmed in an interview to Playbill that she was “in” to the play the witch. TodayVariety reported Depp’s interest. Now I’ve confirmed that Johnny and Meryl “almost have their deals wrapped up for the film,” according to sources. Marshall directed 2011’s Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 (which might have been more palatable as a musical because it stunk as the franchise’s fourquel) so he’s already Mouse friendly. The original musical with music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by James Lapine is about a childless baker and his wife who attempt to lift a family curse by journeying into the woods to confront the witch that put the spell on them. Along the way, they encounter classic fairy tale characters. Depp previously starred in the DreamWorks film version of Sondheim’s dark musical Sweeney Todd which was also the last time he sang on camera.
Streep in films had a nice turn warbling country Western in the final scenes of Postcards From The Edge until the longtime Abba fan became the singing and dancing queen of Mamma Mia!. For Into The Woods, Marshall frequent collaborators John DeLuca will produce while David Krane will arrange the music. Lapine penned the screenplay.
As BroadwayWorld.com previously reported, Meryl Streep will play the witch in the upcoming big screen adaptation of INTO THE WOODS. Now according to Variety, Johnny Depp is currently in talks to join the cast for the film by Warner Bros/Disney film, which is set to be directed by Rob Marshall.
UPDATE:Variety now reports that Depp is in talks to play ‘The Baker,’ while The Hollywood Reporter claims that he will play “a hungry and sexy variation of the fairy tale wolf character.” At the very least, Depp is all but confirmed for the film. Deadline announced that sources revealed Depp’s deal is “almost” done.
James Lapine, the original book writer of INTO THE WOODS, is reworking the script for the screenplay, while Sondheim is expected to contribute some new songs.
Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. It debuted in San Diego at the Old Globe Theatre in 1986, and premiered on Broadway in 1987. Into the Woods won several Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book, and Best Actress in a Musical (Joanna Gleason), in a year dominated by The Phantom of the Opera.