Disney film ‘Into the Woods’ begins production in U.K.

‘Into the Woods’ play
Melissa Hoff and Yvette Cason in a “Into the Woods” presented by Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Disney has begun production of a big-screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical in England.
(Ed Krieger )

Walt Disney is once again turning to the Brothers Grimm for theatrical inspiration.

The studio that brought the classic Grimm’s fairy tale “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to the big screen in 1937, said it began production last week on “Into the Woods,” a film adaptation of the award-winning musical that is a modern take on the popular Grimm stories.

The movie, set for release on Dec. 25, 2014, will shoot in studio and on location throughout England, Disney said in a statement. “Into the Woods” is the latest coup for the U.K., which has drawn a string of high-profile Hollywood movies in recent years, including “Captain America: The First Avenger” and the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode 7" movie, due to its strong film incentives.

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Rob Marshall, the filmmaker behind the musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” is directing the movie.


“Into the Woods” is based on the Tony-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also wrote the screenplay, and renowned composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyric — including a new song for the movie.

The story follows the classic tales of “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Rapunzel” — all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family, and their interaction with a witch who has put the curse on them.

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The ensemble cast includes Meryl Streep, who plays the witch; Emily Blunt, who is the baker’s wife; James Corden as the baker; Anna Kendrick as Cinderella; Chris Pine as the prince; and Johnny Depp as the wolf.


“Into the Woods” premiered on Broadway on Nov. 5, 1987, at the Martin Beck Theatre. The production, which ran for 764 performances, won Tony Awards for best score, best book and best actress in a musical.

The musical has been produced around the world, including a 1988 U.S. tour, a 1990 West End production, and Broadway and London revivals, in addition to a television production, DVD recording and a 10-year-anniversary concert.


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