Johnny Depp is looking to stretch his musical chops once more. The Sweeney Todd actor has entered talks to join Meryl Streep in Disney’s adaptation of the Broadway musical Into the Woods, which will be helmed by Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall. The film has been in the works for some time now, and it’s a fairy tale-infused story that centers around “a childless baker and his wife who attempt to life a family course by journeying into the woods to confront the witch that put a spell on them.” During their journey, they encounter a number of classic fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk. Hit the jump for more.
News of Depp’s involvement comes via Variety, which confirms that Meryl Streep is also in talks to star as the film’s evil witch. Apparently the film’s green light was contingent upon both Depp and Streep committing and with them both nearly onboard now we can safely assume the project will be moving forward. We learned last October that Streep was eyeing the role, as Chicago and Nine director Marshall had recently staged a table read of the film with actors like Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, Allison Janney, Cheyenne Jackson, and Megan Hilty. Those actors are not in negotiations to join the film, but they are certainly possibilities as Marshall looks to fill out the supporting roles.
James Lapine wrote the screenplay for the film based on his book for the musical, and David Krane is working on the music with Stephen Sondheim possibly contributing new songs to the fantasy feature. A production start date has yet to be set, and Depp has quite a busy schedule ahead of him in the near future. He’s currently filming Wally Pfister’s sci-fi pic Transcendence and he’s attached to play Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in White Mass, which is looking to shoot this summer. There’s also that fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film that has a 2015 release date looming closer despite the fact that no director has been set.
Should Depp formally sign on to Into the Woods, though, the project would most definitely get a leg up on its road towards production. While I didn’t much care for Marshall’s Pirates film, he’s proved himself to be incredibly skilled at musicals with Chicago so I’m interested to see what his vision for Into the Woods would entail. Hopefully we hear more soon.