Oscar-nominee and fan-favorite Anna Kendrick was only 12 years old, when she was nominated for a Tony Award for her first acting role in the Broadway musical High Society. She went on to perform in the stage musical A Little Night Music, yet it wasn’t until last year’s Pitch Perfect – the popular college comedy about an all-girl a cappella group – that many people found out about Kendrick’s singing talent.
Kendrick is playing the female lead in filmmaker Richard LaGravenese’s (Beautiful Creatures) upcoming movie adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s musical The Last Five Years, which examines the five-year relationship between a struggling actress and budding novelist from the perspectives of both parties. She is currently lining up to appear in another screen musical thereafter, with a role in Disney’s Into the Woods musical adaptation.
Into the Woods is based on the musical book written by James Lapine, with music and lyrics that were designed by legendary composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim (whose body of work includes Sweeney Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and the lyrics for West Side Story). The story follows a baker and his wife, who encounter various fairy tale characters while undertaking a journey into the dark and dangerous woodlands, in order to lift the curse placed upon them by a witch.
THR is reporting that Kendrick has begun negotiations to play Cinderalla – who, in the musical, gets together with her beloved Prince (Jake Gyllenhaal in the movie version), only to discover that happily ever after isn’t everything she imagined it would be. Meanwhile, Tony award-winning Broadway alum James Corden – whom Doctor Who fans will recognize as Craig from “The Lodger” and “Closing Time” – is playing the baker, alongside Emily Blunt (Looper) as his wife.
Besides possessing a great singing voice – listen to her rendition of the Cups song “When I’m Gone” – Kendrick has a knack for playing neurotic and uptight, yet warm and endearing people (be it in films like Up in the Air, 50/50 or the Twilight franchise). For those reasons, she feels like an excellent choice for both Cathy from The Last Five Years and the Into the Woods musical version of the famous Cinderella character.
Similarly, the rest of the casting for Into the Woods so far have been spot-on, when it comes to matching the actor or actress in question with a fitting role. That includes Johnny Depp as the “hungry and sexy vicissitude” of the Big Bad Wolf, Meryl Streep as the witch, Chris Pine as Rapunzel’s handsome, but pompous and self-absorbed prince, and Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) who may be in line to portray Cinderella’s stepmother (plus Tracey Ullman has an undisclosed supporting role in the film).
As for Into the Woods director Rob Marshall, he started his feature-length directing career with a bang – by helming the Best Picture Oscar-winning adaptation of the Chicago musical in 2002 – yet, his track record since then has been pretty bumpy (Memoirs of a Geisha, Nine and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides). The final result with Into the Woods should be a marked improvement on his last film in particular, if the cast that Marshall has been able to assemble together is any indication.
Into the Woods opens in U.S. theaters on Christmas Day 2014.