Oscar-nominated director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) is teaming up with Disney for a film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will feature a script by Lapine and possible additional songs by Sondheim. No casting or film schedule has been announced. Marshall first eyed an Into the Woods movie musical last year and then met with Lapine.
“We talked about the meaning of it and how timely it is still, and about family – that’s always at the core of our lives,” said Marshall.
Into the Woods will mark Marshall’s third outing with Sondheim. Marshall choreographed Broadway productions of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Company in the ‘90s. Marshall attempted to adapt Sweeney Todd for film, but could not because of scheduling conflicts. The project was later directed by Tim Burton.
Combining the stories of many fairy tale characters, including Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, as well as a baker and his wife working to start a family, Into the Woods opened on Broadway on November 5, 1987. The original production starred Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason and Chip Zien, and garned three Tony Awards including Best Score, Best Book and Best Actress in a Musical. The musical was revived in 2002, starring Vanessa Williams and Laura Benanti, and the production won a Tony Award for Best Revival.
This is the third major attempt to adapt Into the Woods for the big screen. In 1994 Penny Marshall oversaw a reading with Robin Williams, Goldie Hawn and Cher. Later the film was developed by Columbia Pictures, with director Rob Minkoff attached, and Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Susan Sarandon rumored to star.