Tonight, BroadwayWorld has exclusively learned exciting new information and is thrilled to confirm casting for the major roles in the forthcoming Disney feature film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine’s adored and adorable fairy tale-themed musical “Into the woods”, directed by Rob Marshall.
A source close to the production has confirmed casting for the majority of the roles now that official casting for the highly anticipated big screen tuner is almost complete, with the big budget production set to start shooting in the UK in a few weeks.
Leading “Into the woods” will be acclaimed stage and screen superstar Meryl Streep as The Witch, James Corden as The Baker, Emily Blunt as The Baker’s Wife, Johnny Depp as The Wolf, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince, Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel’s Prince, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Lucy Punch as Lucinda, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, Christine Baranski as Cinderella’s Mother and Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother.
At this time, the actors in the roles of Jack and Little Red Ridinghood are still unconfirmed.
Streep previously sang onscreen in the 2008 mega-hit “Mamma Mia!” which also incidentally co-starred Christine Baranski. Depp essayed the title role in Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” to much acclaim and an Oscar nomination in 2007.
“Into the woods” is directed by Rob Marshall from a screenplay by original bookwriter James Lapine and is set to premiere in December 2014.
The original 1987 production of “Into the woods” starred Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason and Chip Zien, winning multiple Tony Awards including Best Score, Best Book and Best Actress In A Musical. More recently, a Tony Award-winning 2002 Best Revival starred Vanessa Williams, Kerry O’Malley and Stephen DeRosa.
Sondheim’s score for “Into the woods” features such cherished gems as “Children Will Listen“, “No One Is Alone” and many more. Sondheim and I discussed the previous attempts at a feature film adaptation of “Into the woods” in both of our InDepth InterViews, as well as the themes and specific songs of the musical itself.
A portion of our second InDepth InterView pertaining to “Into the woods” follows:
“PC: So many songs in this book seem to deal with the idea of family and parents – “Children Will Listen” from “Into the woods” being the foremost example.
SS: That’s the whole idea – that’s the whole show; fairy tales are about the relationship between parents and children. If you look at all the fairy tales, they are all about that – Cinderella; Jack and the Beanstalk; they are all about it – because that’s the way fairy tales were told. You know, they weren’t written down – they were told from generation to generation and, usually, matriarchal. So, often, it’s from the woman’s point of view – because in many of the fairy tales, if not most of them, the fathers are missing and the mothers are left. So, that all has to do with the tradition of fairy tales. The Grimm Brothers just collected a lot of them – as all the other fairy tale collectors did – but, they were all from an oral tradition. So, that’s what accounts for the fact that most of them deal with parents and children.”
Check out my entire 2011 InDepth InterView: Stephen Sondheim here.
Also, view my 2010 InDepth InterView with Stephen Sondheim in which we discuss additional material written for the oft-proposed film adaptation – specifically the duet “Rainbows” – as well as the impressive original cast for the aborted 1990s film version and much more, available here.