Watch out, Nikki Finke! The Litchfield County Times surprisingly broke the news that three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep will star as the Witch in the movie adaptation of Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall. Broadway arranger and composer David Krane, who worked with Marshall on the Chicago movie, spilled the magic beans in a January 31 interview with the local Connecticut paper. Krane also stated that the adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical would be produced by Disney.
“Disney is going to make the movie and I will do the arrangements,” Krane told the Times. (No, not the New York Times!) “Meryl Streep will be the witch and it will be the first time I have worked with her since 1977 when we did Happy End.”
A reading of the Into the Woods film script was held in October 2012, starring two-time Tony winner Donna Murphy as the Witch. Murphy also starred in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production in August. Although no additional casting for the movie has been confirmed, the film reading included Nina Arianda as the Baker's Wife, Christine Baranski as Stepmother, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, Victoria Clark as Cinderella's Mother/Granny/Giant, James Corden as the Baker, Ivan Hernandez as the Wolf, Megan Hilty as Lucinda, Cheyenne Jackson as Rapunzel's Prince, Allison Janney as Jack's Mother, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Michael McGrath as Steward/Baker's Father, Laura Osnes as Rapunzel, Taylor Trensch as Jack, Casey Whyland as Little Red Riding Hood, Patrick Wilson as Cinderella's Prince and David Garrison as the Narrator.
Streep earned Academy Awards for Sophie’s Choice, The Iron Lady and Kramer vs. Kramer, and a Tony nomination for A Memory of Two Mondays / 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. Her additional Broadway credits include The Cherry Orchard, Happy End, Secret Service and Trelawny of the Wells. Her additional film credits include The Devil Wears Prada, The Hours, Adaptation, Hope Springs, Julie & Julia, Mamma Mia!, and Doubt.
Krane has served as an arranger, musical director or composer on numerous Broadway shows, including La Cage aux Folles, The Boys From Syracuse, Oklahoma!, The Music Man, Little Me, Cabaret, 110 in the Shade, Big, Ragtime, Victor/Victoria, Show Boat, Damn Yankees, She Loves Me, Sweeney Todd, Wind in the Willows and Peter Pan.
We'll be keeping a close watch on the Litchfield area for further casting scoops. Who knew northwest Connecticut was such a hotbed of Hollywood news?!