The beloved Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical, Into the Woods, has become a hot commodity as of late, receiving multiple recreations of the twisted fairytale. Not only will the musical be adapted into a live-action feature film this Christmas, the filming of the original Broadway production will be remastered, among other reinventions.
The adaptation of Into the Woods into a film has been speculated for many years now. A number of attempts to get the production off of its feet have been made since its original Broadway debut, but it will not be until Christmas of 2014 that audiences will bear witness to the show’s magic in cinemas around the globe.
Rob Marshall, director of the film version of Chicago, helmed the monumental feat of directing the Into the Woods movie. The film features a plethora of A-List talent including Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, as well as the multi-talented, Oscar-winning Meryl Streep as “The Witch.” The film also harbors a selection of performers previously found only in the theatre, including Mackenzie Mauzy and Billy Magnussen, who play Rapunzel and her prince, respectively.
Musical theatre fans around the world nearly combusted with excitement at the announcement of the Into the Woods film, but quickly turned a cold shoulder when rumors began to spread about the watering-down of certain adult themes within the show being cut out. Creator, Stephen Sondheim, and director, Rob Marshall, set the record straight by announcing to the public that the film would remain true to the original tale. The fact that Disney is producing Into the Woods may have led certain people astray, but alas, the head honchos have confirmed that Disney has not taken a single shred of artistry or depth away from the storyline.
Marshall did clarify small changes within the film that were necessary for adapting the production to cinema. Such changes entail altering the narrative of the acts within the show to flow more naturally and the original Act 1 closer, Ever After has been reworked into an instrumental track. Meryl Streep as The Witch and James Corden and Emily Blunt as the Baker and his wife all received new songs written by Sondheim, but none ended up making the final cut.
The original 1987 Broadway production of Into the Woods was filmed shortly after its debut and released on VHS and DVD. A newly remastered version of the taping is scheduled to be released on Blu-Ray on December 2. The original production featured a cast of Broadway legends including Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, Robert Westenberg, and Kim Crosby.
Audiences will have the luxury of seeing the aforementioned actors, as well as their original co-stars, gather together for an official Into the Woods reunion concert. On November 9, in Costa Mesa, California, the original, principal cast of the show will congregate for what is being called a “live documentary.” The event will feature performances by the cast members, as well as talk-back sessions that give viewers insight on the actors’ experiences with Into the Woods.
As multiple recreations of Into the Woods are received, fans continue to garner their excitement for all the events that are to come. The official trailer for the Into the Woods film can be viewed below.
By Cody Collier