Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Into the Woods Movie?

I recently saw this post on io9 saying that Disney is developing a film adaptation of the musical Into the Woods:

"Disney Bringing Sondheim's Revisionist Fairy Tale to the Big Screen"

I LOVE this musical. I fell in love with it in high school when my brother rented the video recording of the original Broadway cast from our local library (free rental, so we took it out many times). I was slightly obsessed; I wrote a paper on the Baker's Wife for an assignment my senior year. I memorized almost all of the songs (it's a lot of words, believe me). Some time in college, I found the video on DVD and promptly bought it for myself.

The original cast is fabulous. Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleason are my particular favorites. Seeing the musical live is great, of course (I saw a college production of it, which was pretty good), but if you can find it, I highly recommend the recording of the original Broadway cast. It's just the actors on stage in front of a live audience. No re-staging or anything. But even in that form, it still makes for great viewing on the small screen.

I am mostly happy to hear that they're planning on bringing the musical to the big screen. It's such a great story, with brilliant writing, delightful songs, and hilarious characters, it deserves to reach a larger audience. But I'm also nervous. Some recent stage-musical-to-big-screen adaptations (Chicago, Hairspray) have gone better than others (The Producers, Rent). The director attached to the project is Rob Marshall, who did Chicago, so that's promising. Fingers crossed that he can turn this one into a great success, as well.

If not... At least I can always retreat back to my original cast DVD.


Rosalind said...

So, in college, I didn't just see this show, I was the musical director. I also arranged Giants In the Sky as a piano/electric guitar duet. It was pretty awesome. We also had a male Cinderella (it was a very liberal school). Thanks to this show (which I always loved even before directing) I have a love/hate relationship with Sondheim (you can't change keys 4 times in two pages with that many sharps!). I'm excited for the prospect of a movie, but, as always, concerned that we'll get non-singers in the roles (a la Chicago). Then, again, it could be great (a la Phantom of the Opera). I'm hoping for great. I also own the Bernadette stage version, so I'm good.

Eleni said...

That's awesome! I love the idea of a male Cinderella. My roommate played flute for our college production, so I've heard her complaints about key changes before.

Some of the parts require really great singers more than others--the witch, Cinderella, and Jack come to mind. Obviously it's ideal if the actors are terrific actors and terrific singers, but some of the parts I'd allow to be simply very good singers as long as the actor plays it right (e.g. the Baker's Wife). That's just my opinion. But yeah, the casting and the directing will be very important in determining how the movie goes. Fingers crossed.

Tara said...

Actually this doesn't surprise me at all :) With the success they had with Enchanted (which was a somewhat similar sort of make-fun-of-fairy-tales musical) I bet Disney could do a great job on an Into the Woods movie :)

Eleni said...

I guess it's not surprising. But it's pretty different from Enchanted...Much darker. But hopefully they'll do a good job!