Walt Disney Pictures has begun production of the highly anticipated musical, “Into the Woods”, first introduced at the 2013 D23 Expo. Production has begun in the UK, with continued shooting in studio and on location throughout England. The film is slated for a December 25, 2014, holiday release.
A modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, “Into the Woods” takes the plots of the classic tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, and Rapunzel, and intertwines them into a story which explores the consequences of the characters’ various wishes and quests. This heartfelt and humorous musical brings these tales together into an original story involving a baker and his wife, and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them. Their quest is to break the witch’s curse in order to start a family, and in doing so, learn what it means to “live happily ever after”.
The film 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. This 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. Sondheim has also penned an all-new song for this story’s theatrical debut.
The Award-Winning Cast includes:
- Meryl Streep, portraying the Witch who wishes to reverse a curse so that her beauty may be restored.
- Emily Blunt as the Baker’s Wife, a childless woman who longs to be a mother.
- James Corden, playing the role of the Baker, a hard-working man who desperately wants to start a family.
- Anna Kendrick will fill the shoes of Cinderella, who finds herself on a journey of self-discovery.
- Chris Pine will portray Cinderella’s Prince, charming and impossibly handsome, who is on an endless quest to find his bride.
- Johnny Depp, as the Wolf, who sets his sights on Little Red Riding Hood.
- Lilla Crawford will make 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 in the role of Jack, an absentminded and adventurous boy who trades his treasured cow for five magic beans.
- Tracey Ullman will play Jack’s Mother, a poor and exasperated mom who is overwhelmed, yet fiercely protective of her son.
- Christine Baranski as 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, playing Rapunzel, a sheltered young woman who experiences the world beyond her tower for the first time.
- Billy Magnussen as the dashing and eager Prince who courts Rapunzel.
Supporting roles include: Tammy Blanchard and Lucy Punch as Cinderella’s spoiled stepsisters, Florinda and Lucinda. Richard Glover is the Princes’ royal steward, Frances de la Tour portrays the giant, and Simon Russell Beale is the Baker’s father. Actress Joanna Riding portrays Cinderella’s late mother, and Little Red Riding Hood’s beloved granny is played by Annette Crosbie.
Into the Woods” is being produced by Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical Chicago and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Marc Platt, who produced the multiple Tony Award®-winning musical Wicked on Broadway, along with John DeLuca and Callum McDougall.
The award-winning production team includes Dion Beebe, Oscar® winner for the Marshall-helmed “Memoirs of a Geisha,” as director of photography. Dennis Gassner, who won his own Oscar for “Bugsy,” serves as production designer, and three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood is costume designer.
“Into the Woods” has been produced around the world, including a 1988 U.S. tour, a 1990 West End production, Broadway and London revivals, in addition to a television production, DVD recording and a 10-year-anniversary concert, and first premiered on Broadway on Nov. 5, 1987. Now we have a Disney Studios Musical Production to look forward to!
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Images courtesy of the Walt Disney Company.