Tag Archives: Into the Woods

And a New Into the Woods Teaser, Too

I wonder if this was intentional.  There’s a new teaser for Disney’s version of Into the Woods, but it was released by Disney Australia.  Strange.  Let’s see if the video stays up or or if Disney has it removed.

Anyway, you can ignore the “January 2015” opening date at the end of the trailer.  Australia’s in a different time zone. so they’re a couple of weeks behind us “Down Under”.

Two things jump out about the video:  No one sings—The songs from the play are only hinted at in the background music.  And it looks like Disney is really trying to keep Johnny Depp’s look as  the Wolf a secret until the film is released.  The most we see in the video or the stills is a paw reaching around a tree.

rs_1024x430-140730104219-1024.into-the-wild-7.cm.73014

Hand of Depp

New Into the Woods Stills

Disney has released a few more stills from the film version of Stephen Sondheim – James Lapine musical Into the Woods, which is set for release on Christmas Day 2014.  There have been rumours that Disney has lightened the story to make it more “family-friendly”—you can bet that the Wolf will no longer be anatomically correct, as he was in the original—but Sondheim says he and Lapine, “worked out every change from stage to screen with the producers and with Rob Marshall, the director…I can happily report that it is not only a faithful adaptation of the show, it is a first-rate movie”.

Looks gorgeous, doesn’t it?

James Corden as the Baker and Meryl Streep as the Witch.

James Corden as the Baker and Meryl Streep as the Witch.

MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel.

MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel.

Lucy Punch and Tammy Blanchard as Cinderella’s evil stepsisters and Christine Baranski as her evil stepmother.

Lucy Punch and Tammy Blanchard as Cinderella’s evil stepsisters and Christine Baranski as her evil stepmother.

Corden with Lilla Crawford as Red Riding Hood.

Corden with Lilla Crawford as Red Riding Hood.

Daniel Huttlestone as Jack and Tracy Ullman as his mother.

Daniel Huttlestone as Jack and Tracy Ullman as his mother.

“Transcendence”

Johnny Depp was his generation’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt–an intensely charismatic actor who took a lot of chances, and somehow became a major star while playing edgy, off-beat characters. It’s also not impossible that there’s a locked room in Depp’s house which holds a portrait of him painted while he was in his 20s that has aged terribly, because Depp sure hasn’t–at 50 (50!) he still looks almost as good as he did on Twenty-One Jump Street, 25 years ago.

But while the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have been huge money-makers, his work in the last decade has been disappointing. That might turn around this year. In addition to Transcendence, he plays The Wolf in Into the Woods, and, according to IMDB, he has at least 20 projects in development.

Transcendence is scheduled to be released on 17 April 2014.

Nightmare on Sondheim Street

“The first attempts of adapting Into the Woods to film occurred in the early 1990s, with a script written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Manzel and a cast that included Robin Williams as The Baker, Goldie Hawn as The Baker’s Wife, Cher as The Witch, Danny DeVito as The Giant, Steve Martin as The Wolf, and Roseanne Barr as Jack’s Mother.”

From Wikipedia

Thank god this was never made!  Add Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal, and you’ve got the 1990s Cast from Hell.

The cast for the 2014 version is about as close to perfect as you can get.

“…and home before dark”

First picture of Meryl Streep in the upcoming film version of Into the WoodsIt’s set for a Christmas 2014 release.

Meryl Streep as the Witch in Into the Woods

Meryl Streep as the Witch in Into the Woods. Photograph: Peter Mountain/UNIT

Into the Woods is one of my two favorite Sondheim musicals.  (Duh.  Sweeney Todd, of course.)  I first saw it at Kennedy Center during its post-Broadway tour, with Bernadette Peters as the witch.

Years later, I saw a student production at George Washington University, and I don’t know how it happened, but I felt magic that night.  It was like going to the theater for the first time, when I was a little kid.  The costumes, the lighting, the music, the flood of sensation….  The actors weren’t people on a stage, they were something larger, something more real than everyday life.  It transcended.

I hope the movie can retain some of the sensibility of the musical.  I was never able to make it through more than half an hour of the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version of Sweeney Todd, and I see Depp is playing the wolf in this one.  The rest of the cast looks excellent.