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Into the Woods [2014] (2 discs)

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Director:Rob Marshall
Writer:James Lapine
Composer:Stephen Sondheim
Songs:Stephen Sondheim
Length:125 minutes
(2 hours 5 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:Fantasy
IMDB Rating:6.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:71%
Amazon Rating:3.0/5 stars
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Classifications:
  • Fantasy
  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Family
  • Romance
  • CG
Available Formats:
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Synopsis: A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.


Reaction: Catchy songs and an interesting story.


Personal Rating: 7/10

Select Cast and Crew
Rob Marshall => Director
James Lapine => Writer / Musical
Stephen Sondheim => Composer / Songs
Anna Kendrick => Cinderella
Annette Crosbie => Granny
Billy Magnussen => Rapunzel's Prince
Chris Pine => Cinderella's Prince
Christine Baranski => Stepmother
Daniel Huttlestone => Jack
Emily Blunt => Baker's Wife
Frances de la Tour => Giant
James Corden => Baker
Joanna Riding => Cinderella's Mother
Johnny Depp => Wolf
Lilla Crawford => Little Red Riding Hood
Lucy Punch => Lucinda
Mackenzie Mauzy => Rapunzel
Meryl Streep => Witch
Richard Glover => Steward
Simon Russell Beale => Baker's Father
Tammy Blanchard => Florinda
Tracey Ullman => Jack's Mother
Tug => Milky-White

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • A number of differences between this and the stage version:
    * On stage, Rapunzel dies by running off and being crushed by the giant. In the theatrical release, she rides off with her prince.
    * On stage, the death of Jack's Mother was more violent with the Steward clubbing her with his cane. In this film, he merely pushes her to the ground.
    * On stage, the Baker's father helps the Baker and his wife with the items they need to lift the curse and dies when it is lifted. In the film, he appears as a vision.<>* Slight changes were made to the connotation of "Hello Little Girl" because it strongly alludes to pedophilia. The tempo was made "jazzier" and the producers felt the double-entendres would most likely fly over kids' heads.
    * The stage version's Narrator is replaced with the Baker's voiceover for the narration.
    * The stage version's 'Mysterious Man' is cut. The role played by Meryl Streep is a combination of both the Witch role and the Mysterious Man, but ultimately the witch.
  • Despite prominent billing, Johnny Depp only appears in nearly five minutes of the film.
  • Despite it being revealed in the film that Rapunzel was The Baker's sister, they never actually meet after the revelation.
  • There have been several other attempts to bring Into the Woods to the screen. At one point in 1994, it got as far as a reading at Penny Marshall's house, with Robin Williams, Goldie Hawn, and [?] Cher; later, it was developed at Columbia Pictures with director [?] Rob Minkoff attached and Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, and Susan Sarandon in talks to star.
  • Matthew Broderick, John C. Reilly, Neil Patrick Harris, Colin Firth, Johnny Depp, [?] Denis O'Hare, and Jim Carrey were considered for the Baker.
  • Tina Fey auditioned for the role of the Baker's Wife.
  • Alan Cumming was considered to play The Wolf.
  • Before Tracey Ullman was cast as Jack's Mother, Allison Janney and Kathy Bates were in talks for the role.
  • In the stage production the witch is typically played by a young actress in old age makeup, who then has the old age makeup removed after the transformation takes place. Meryl Streep admitted that at age of 64 when she filmed the role, it was more of a challenge to make her appear clearly younger after the transformation takes place.
  • This is the fourth time Lucy Punch has played a stepsister type role. Previous projects are Ella Enchanted, Cinderella, and in BBC's [Fairy Tales].
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer, PenÚlope Cruz, Donna Murphy, Idina Menzel, Miranda Richardson, Kate Winslet, and Nicole Kidman were considered for the Witch.
  • At one point during his performance in the intentionally broad song "Agony," Chris Pine does an impression of William Shatner. Pine is also a star of the rebooted Star Trek movie series; he plays Captain James T. Kirk, a role originated by Shatner.
  • In earlier drafts, the essential Narrator character from the original stage musical was still part of the story. Before the role was written out of the script, many actors were either considered, in talks, or asked to play the role including Jeremy Irons, Christopher Plummer, Geoffrey Rush, James Earl Jones, John Cleese, Michael Caine, Michael Gambon, and Alan Rickman. There were even rumors about giving this role to a female such as Julie Andrews or Angela Lansbury who are both Disney favorites as well as experts on Stephen Sondheim's material.
  • Lilla Crawford replaced [?] Sophia Grace Brownlee as Little Red one week after filming began.
  • When in negotiations to play Sally Bowles on Broadway in Cabaret, Rob Marshall asked Emma Stone to play the role of Cinderella, but she turned it down because she didn't think she had the vocal range. She jokingly asked Marshall if she could, instead, "play Jack."
  • Because the Baker and his Wife lack proper names, Emily Blunt and James Corden referred to them as "Marjorie and Geoff" while on set.
  • Emily Blunt portrays a woman who is unable to have a child in the film. Ironically, Blunt was actually pregnant during filming. This resulted in multiple different techniques to hide her pregnancy. Within a week of being cast, Blunt discovered she was pregnant. When she called to inform director Rob Marshall, he jokingly asked if she was actually pregnant. Emily Blunt revealed that the "Any Moment" sequence was rehearsed when she was about three months into her pregnancy and it was filmed when she was about seven months pregnant. The change showed during filming as Blunt noted that during the scene Chris Pine dips her during a dance and that Pine's arms were shaking due to the change in weight.
  • According to Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine was extremely shy about his singing voice and noted that he would hold back during rehearsals. She only heard his actual singing voice when she was eating lunch in the recording studio. She was in a room by herself and she heard a "beautiful, crooning voice" coming from the hallway, but she assumed that it was a singer from a different project since multiple records were being recorded in the studio. She then noticed that the singing wasn't stopping, so she poked her head out to see who it was. To her surprise, she discovered that it was Pine, who didn't know that there was anybody else there. Initially, he wasn't aware of the original Into the Woods play, but wanted to audition just based on the cast and the director. On the night before his singing audition, he decided to google the play and to his horror, found pages of fan message boards and comments, along with passionate positive reviews of the play and Broadway show. This made him so nervous that he didn't sleep at all that night and even briefly considered canceling the meeting with Rob Marshall.
  • At a Q&A session after screening of the film, James Corden recalled an incident during rehearsals in which Meryl Streep jumped on a table and her foot got caught in her costume. She started falling backwards, head first, toward a concrete floor. Both Corden and director Rob Marshall froze in the fear that they were about to witness the death of Meryl Streep. However, a pregnant Emily Blunt stepped in and caught Streep before she hit the floor.
  • According to Anna Kendrick, the set pieces used for the woods were so big and realistic that she and Chris Pine actually got lost while on the sound stage and had to be rescued by a production assistant.
  • The first movie that Meryl Streep has made for Disney Studio. Most of her songs in the film were sung live, even though she also had pre-recorded them.
  • Meryl Streep revealed that after turning 40, she was offered three witch roles in one year, and she implemented a 'no witches' rule. She ended up breaking that rule after meeting composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim and director Rob Marshall for this film.