By Susan Shannon McCreadie
Plans are afoot to bring the Sondheim/Lapine musical, “Into the Woods” to a theater near you. Rob Marshall, who brought us the Oscar-winning “Chicago” and “Nine,” has signed with Disney to direct. (This will not be his first outing with the Disney organization, as he also directed “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” which earned over $1 billion internationally.)There is no doubt that Marshall is capable of navigating musical waters, but this is not the first time the idea of turning “Into the Woods” into a film has been discussed. The story line of this musical includes a mash-up of fairy tales. It brings together Jack-in-the-Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and more to tell the story of a baker and his wife, as they seek to start a family. With at least two films on the horizon about Snow White, and two more shows on TV based on fairytales, this film concept might have found it’s time.
James Lapine, who wrote the book for the Broadway show is currently working on the film script. Lapine and Marshall have worked together before, with Marshall providing his choreography skills to two of Lapine’s musicals. Rob Marshall came close to directing Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd, Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” starring Johnny Depp, but the timing was off and the project went to Tim Burton. And, just to bring things full circle, Marshall is currently set to direct a remake of “The Thin Man,” starring Depp. Now we just wait to see which film comes first!