Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep filming together and singing. Who can resist? Not Disney any longer. It’s taken 16 months to get off the ground — ever since January 2012, when the studio sent out a press release announcing Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) would be directing Stephen Sondheim’s iconic 1987 Broadway musical Into The Woods as a feature film for Disney. A table read was held in NYC this past October featuring Donna Murphy, Megan Hilty, Christine Baranski, Allison Janney and quite a few other Broadway stars. Buzz of Streep’s interest first surfaced last summer and this past week Marshall confirmed in an interview to Playbill that she was “in” to the play the witch. Today Variety reported Depp’s interest. Now I’ve confirmed that Johnny and Meryl “almost have their deals wrapped up for the film,” according to sources. Marshall directed 2011’s Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 (which might have been more palatable as a musical because it stunk as the franchise’s fourquel) so he’s already Mouse friendly. The original musical with music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by James Lapine is about a childless baker and his wife who attempt to lift a family curse by journeying into the woods to confront the witch that put the spell on them. Along the way, they encounter classic fairy tale characters. Depp previously starred in the DreamWorks film version of Sondheim’s dark musical Sweeney Todd which was also the last time he sang on camera. Streep in films had a nice turn warbling country Western in the final scenes of Postcards From The Edge until the longtime Abba fan became the singing and dancing queen of Mamma Mia!. For Into The Woods, Marshall frequent collaborators John DeLuca will produce while David Krane will arrange the music. Lapine penned the screenplay.
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