Walt Disney studios announced today that their adaptation of the famous stage show "Into the Woods" is now in production. James Lapine wrote the screenplay, taken from his own Tony Award-winning musical. Rob Marshall("Chicago", "Nine") is directing the film, with studio and location shoots throughout England. Composer Stephen Sondheim, who won a Best Original Song Academy Award for "Dick Tracy", is providing the music and lyrics.
"Into the Woods" gives fairy tales like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel a modern twist. Each of these famous stories intertwine in a central plot involving a baker and his wife. Broadway star James Corden plays the central role of the baker, and Emily Blunt stars as his wife. The two wish to start a family, but have been cursed by a witch.
Blunt is merely one name on the extensive all-star cast, which features Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, and Tracey Ullman. The film also features Broadway star Lilla Crawford("Annie") in her feature film debut.
Sondheim has written a brand-new song for the big-screen adaptation of "Into the Woods." The motion picture will also feature many of the stage production's original songs, such as "Children Will Listen" and "On the Steps of the Palace."
Dion Beebe("Collateral") serves as director of photography on the film. The cinematographer received his first Academy Award nomination working with Rob Marshall on 2002's "Chicago." He was nominated again, and won, after partnering with Marshall once more on "Memoirs of a Geisha." This is Costume Designer Colleen Atwood's fourth collaboration with Marshall. Atwood has received ten Oscar nominations over the span of her career. Nominated for all three of her previous collaborations with the director, she won Oscars for two: "Chicago" and "Memoirs of a Geisha."
"Into the Woods" ran for over 700 performances after its premiere on November 5, 1987. There have been productions and revivals of the play around the world since it became a huge success.
Disney's take on the epic story is due out in theaters December 25, 2014.