When it was announced that Walt Disney Pictures would be producing a live action film adaption of Stephen Sondheim’s notable musical “Into The Woods”, fans were completely ecstatic.
What fans don’t know is that the same story is going to be brought to the big screen, along with some minor changes that have been added to broaden the film’s appeal.
Into the Woods tells the story of a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) and their quest to have a child. It intertwines characters from a variety of fairy tales, including Cinderella (Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine), Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf (Lilla Crawford and Johnny Depp) Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone and Tracey Ullman) and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy). To round out the all star cast, Meryl Streep will portray the Witch.
Sondheim talked about the changes to the film at an event at Sardi’s in New York City. When a teacher raised concerns about the relationship between Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, citing “infidelity, a wolf being lascivious, that the whole connection with Red Riding Hood is sexual, Sondheim replied,
Well, you’ll be happy to know that Disney had the same objections. He added, You will find in the movie that Rapunzel does not get killed, and the prince does not sleep with the [Baker’s Wife]…You know, if I were a Disney executive, I probably would say the same thing.
Though he seemed a little disappointed about some of the changes to his famous musical he remained content.
Censorship is part of our puritanical ethics, there has to be a point at which you don’t compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won’t get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical. You have to deal with reality.
Another teacher asked if the song “Any Moment in the woods” would remain in the live screen adaption. Sondheim responded saying that the song has been cut from the film. Sondheim and his writing partner James Lapine fought for the inclusion of the song in the film, but Disney said they did not want Rapunzel to die. Sondheim and Lapine replotted and wrote a new song to cover it.
The film features two new songs, one called Rainbows and another song written specifically for the Witch.
Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall, hits theaters on Christmas Day.
– Dallas Jordan