Movie musicals continue their comeback. Walt Disney Pictures will release the movie version of Stephen Sondheim‘s classic musical Into the Woods will hit U.S. theaters on Christmas Day December 25, 2014.
Disney’s movie musical adaptation is being directed by Rob Marshall (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Memoirs of a Geisha). The Broadway choreographer turned stage/film director is himself responsible for the film versions of Chicago and Nine.
Blunt will play the Baker’s Wife. Streep has signed on to play the Witch. Depp will play the Wolf. Gyllenhaal and Chris Pine will play Cinderella’s Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince, respectively. 2012 Tony Award winner James Corden has signed on to portray the Baker. Kendrick plays Cinderella.
Still in talks: “Smash” TV star Megan Hilty as a stepsister, Tracey Ullman as Jack’s mother, and Christine Baranski, who was part of the original reading this past October, for the role of Cinderella’s evil stepmother
The House of Mickey Mouse’s announcement of the release date for Into the Woods includes other noteworthy films, mostly billion-dollar franchise sequels and comic-book installments: The Avengers 2 in May 2015; then, later that summer, Star Wars: Episode VII and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 in theaters; the newly-titled sequel to The Muppets; Brad Bird’s sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland; the Mary Poppins making-of biopic Saving Mr. Banks; and the illustrated children’s book adaptation Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Shooting for the Into the Woods film will begin this September in London. James Lapine, the original book writer of Into the Woods, is reworking the script for the screenplay. Sondheim has written new material for the film, including “Rainbows” (a duet between the Baker and his Wife), as well as a new song for Streep.
Marshall hired also Dion Beebe as director of photography. This one is a no-brainer, since both worked together on the Oscar-winning Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago and Nine.
Composer-arranger David Krane (Road to Qatar), who penned the arrangements for Marshall’s film adaptations of Chicago and Nine, is working on new arrangements for the Into the Woods film adaptation.
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 (for Joanna Gleason) in a year dominated by The Phantom of the Opera. The 1987 Into the Woods at the Martin Beck Theatre also starred Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien, Kim Crosby and Robert Westenberg. The original cast performance was preserved by PBS’ American Playhouse in 1991. A 2002 Broadway revival played the Broadhurst Theatre.