Walt Disney Pictures has stepped up the marketing for this December’s Into the Woods, a film adaptation of the award-winning Broadway stage musical. Several new promotional images released yesterday provided a better look the film’s big-name cast in character – including Johnny Depp as The Wolf from the Red Riding Hood story.
Today, we have a new featurette that offers interviews with such main cast members as Depp, Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt (among others), in addition to segments where we hear from key crew members. That includes the Into the Woods movie’s director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine), as well as the original stage show’s writer/lyricist team, James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, who helped adapt their work to the big screen.
We also get a fair amount of previously-unseen footage here, with the same gorgeous craftsmanship on display as featured in previous images and clips from the movie. Perhaps more interesting, though, are the brief but telling insights on the film’s depiction of fairy tale characters offered by the various members of the cast.
After all, as fans of the original stage musical are all too well aware, it’s the way that Lapine and Sondheim’s work graceful blends an extravagant musical fantasy with a probing (and thematically-rich) character study drama that makes Into the Woods not just a clever mashup of centuries-old famous fairy tales, but a meaningful fairy tale in its own right.
Into the Woods follows a humble Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Blunt) as they undertake a journey through a vast forest, in the hope of undoing a curse placed upon them by a witch (Streep) – one that has left them unable to have children. Along the way, they cross paths with other fairy tale characters – Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) and Red Riding Hood (Lila Crawford) among them – who are attempting to fulfill wishes and desires of their own… And, suffice it to say, their interests don’t always align with those around them.
Select aspects of the stage-to-film adaptation process for Into the Woods, such as the way in which the songs are presented, included (or not included), and performed by the movie’s cast (not to mention the casting choices themselves) will undoubtedly rub some fans of the Into the Woods stage musical the wrong way. Of course, that shall always be true when you bring a musical theater work – one that a lot of people feel passionate about – to the big screen. (Remember all those love/hate reactions to Les Misérables?)
Still, so long as the cinematic rendition carries over enough of the source show’s excellent content, then the movie version of Into the Woods should be able to win over a number of newcomers to the material (… and maybe even some longtime Into the Woods purists to boot).
Into the Woods opens in U.S. theaters on December 25th, 2014.