Monday, June 24, 2013

Into the Woods and Out of the Movie Theater

Random delight of the day: Into the Woods is being made into a film and set to premiere around Christmas 2014! Not sure how I didn't hear about this sooner, but I found out about the adaptation through the casting of Anna Kendrick as Cinderella. You can read more about this here:

 I grew up watching the original Broadway cast version and it quickly became one of my favorite musicals. Fairy tale crossovers, Stephen Sondheim, and Bernadette Peters? I mean, how could you NOT like it? So naturally my first thought upon hearing about the movie was filled with excitement: Into the Woods? One of my favorite musicals of all time? A movie? Yay! But then a millisecond passed and I realized--one of my favorite musicals of all time is being made into a movie? Crud. As you can tell, I'm pretty conflicted at the moment.

Let's start with the positives:

  • Johnny Depp as The Wolf: Depp is awesome in any role, particularly the unusual ones. I'm looking forward to seeing him as a villain. Plus, Depp can sing and has sung Sondheim in Sweeney Todd.
  • Emily Blunt as The Baker's Wife: whether she's a snobby fashion assistant, Queen of England, or just trying to bring salmon to the Yemen, Blunt fills the role she's playing perfectly. She also has a pretty voice.  However, Blunt has some serious shoes to fill after Joanna Gleason, who won a Tony for her performance.
  • Meryl Streep as The Witch: Bernadette Peters owned this role, but I keep telling myself it's Meryl Streep. 'Nuff said.
As for the rest of the cast, I'm a little wary. Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Pine are attractive enough for the Princes, but I can't see them--or hear them, I guess--matching the chops of Robert Westenberg and Chuck Wagner. Furthermore, their rendition of "Agony" is unbeatable. Anna Kendrick I'm on the fence about. I like her as an actress and her voice is good, but I'm not sure if she has the range for Cinderella. Also, Disney is behind this. And that can either be great or very, very bad.

I'm guessing this will be similar to Tom Hooper's Les Miserables: great acting, okay singing. 

I suppose it's too early to get too apprehensive. Just don't mess this up Disney or we'll offer you to the giants. 
"Some of us don't like the way you've been telling it."

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