More than a year and a half after their very first announcement, Disney rolled into production on Into the Woods last week, and with the start of filming comes, naturally, the final cast. Is a viral video star, as rumored, really in the role of Little Red Riding Hood? Is Anna Kendrick in it? Are Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Pine, and Johnny Depp all in one movie?
Thank goodness we have answers to all these questions below. Get ready for a wall of names.
One of the earliest, and most exciting announcements about the film has panned out: Meryl Streep will be playing the Witch, so we can all sit back and start imagining the Oscar nomination now.
Emily Blunt and James Corden (that’s Stormageddon’s Dad to you Doctor Who fans) are in as the Baker and the Baker’s Wife; as rumored, Anna Kendrick is our Cinderella, with Chris Pine for a prince; and MacKenzie Mauzy pairs with Billy Magnussen to form up the musical’s other prominent fairy tale couple, Rapunzel and her prince. Johnny Depp will play the Wolf alongside a Little Red Riding Hood played by Lilla Crawford, fresh off titular role in Broadway’s Annie, and the movie’s other child actor will be one familiar to Les Mis fans. Yes, Daniel Huttlestone, Gavroche, is Into the Woods‘ Jack. Speaking of light typecasting, Frances de la Tour, familiar to Harry Potter fans as Madame Maxine, will play the Giant.
The supporting cast (if you can call it that in a list of characters this long) will be rounded out by (deep breath): Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch, Richard Glover, Simon Russell Beale, Joanna Riding, and Annette Crosbie will play, respectively, Jack’s Mother, Cinderella’s stepmother, a stepsister, a stepsister, the Princes’ steward, the Baker’s father, Cinderella’s mother, and Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. Annette Crosbie, for you older nerds out there, was the voice of Galadriel in Ralph Bakshi‘s Lord of the Rings, and fans of the Cornetto Trilogy will remember Lucy Punch as “Juliet” in Hot Fuzz.
That’s a cast any nerd, whether Disney, musical theater, Doctor Who, Harry Potter or otherwise, can be proud of, and I’m certainly interested in how things play out. The show will undoubtedly need some condensing to make it to a length movie audiences will sit through, but with its original writer on board to craft it, I’m not too worried about losing its message. Disney’s press release confirms the inclusion of the songs “Children Will Listen,” “Giants in the Sky,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” “No One Is Alone” and “Agony,” “among others,” with an all new song for the movie penned by Stephen Sondheim himself, all but guaranteeing that we’ll be seeing this cast up on stage at the Academy Awards in 2015. Into the Woods has a release date of Christmas, 2014.