Thursday, April 4, 2013

Things Will Come Out Right? Skepticism of the 'Into the Woods' Adaptation

Take a breath.  This is not a real poster.

Every time they announce a musical is going to be adapted into a movie, you can collectively hear the buttholes of all the Broadway freaks (I proudly include myself) tighten.  Who is going to be in it?  What music are they cutting?  They can't do that!  I can't BE-LIIIEVE they cast HER!!!  I am starting to freak out over the adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods

Woods is one of my all-time favorites, and I, like many others, am terrified they are going to cock it up.  I do not wish ill will on the production, because I would love to see a great movie version of the show.

Let's just start with the director.  Rob Marshall is attached to direct with Disney and Warner Brothers producing it.  Sigh.  I...hmmm...I just think he's the wrong director for this project.  He's not bad (definitely not good if you ask me), but just because he directed one good movie musical (do I need to tell you that it was Chicago?), doesn't mean he can direct EVERY SINGLE movie musical ever greenlit in Hollywood.  Nine was a fucking disaster.  It's probably because Nine isn't all that great to begin with, but there wasn't that much good stuff going on.  It's bad when I of all people think Kate Hudson was a highlight.  Not Daniel Day-Lewis.  Not Judi Dench.  Not even Nicki Kidman could save that movie.  Penny fucking Lane and Marion Cotillard were the only things that kept me going.   

Wreeetched new song, but she sang the shit out of it.

I feel like the director should be able to handle darker material.  If you asked me, I would suggest Guillermo del Toro to direct.  Pan's Labyrinth is eerie and fantastical, and he would be able to spring a fairy tale like Into the Woods to life.  The atmosphere and tone (not to mention the cinematography) would be ridic.  Hell, I would even be intrigued by Tim Burton directing, but I would cry as soon as I saw how it looked and because he would cast Johnny Depp as something.  I am still pissed that he cut "Kiss Me" from his Sweeney Todd adaptation. 

As far as casting goes, the only person confirmed is Meryl Streep as The Witch.  Haters gonna hate, but she will be fantastic.  The greatest living actress doesn't need me to defend her, but all those bitches are gonna have me to answer to if I hear them say she's not pretty enough to play The Witch.  She's a bit older than I thought, but doesn't make her any less beautiful.  Don't use her performance in Mamma Mia! to draw comparisons, people.  Would I have preferred Donna Murphy?  Duh.  Victoria Clark?  Yes.  Would I have loved to have seen a Broadway vet get to flex her muscles in this great role?  Sure.'s Meryl Streep.  Let's move on, shall we? 

Back in June, Marshall had a reading of the screenplay with a pretty impressive cast.  It included Allison Janney (Jack's Mother), Patrick Wilson (Cinderella's Prince--YES PLEASE), Anna Kendrick (Cinderella), Cheyenne Jackson (Rapunzel's Prince--drooling over here...) among others.  Can we please have James Corden and Nina Arianda as the Baker and his wife?  Am I the only one loving that idea?

We have to remember that there is a fine line when it comes to casting a movie musical, because you have to have actors that audiences in Idaho will pay to see.  I agree with what you are saying in your head.  You should be able to film a movie musical that is good, and let the quality be there on the screen.  I get it.  Movie studios don't see that, though.  They won't be able to feel comfortable financing a project if they don't think they will make money on it.  It sucks, but it's true. 

"Wait!  I wasn't considered?!"

When they start casting people left and right, something is going to suck.  It will.  I am preparing myself for the absolute worst (Ashton Kutcher as a Prince, for example), but who knows.  The Broadway message boards will explode, and I am trying to prepare myself for it.  What's the worst that could happen?

Oh.  Right...don't Russell Crowe all over Into the Woods!!!  

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