Meryl Streep in Talks for Lead in Rob Marshall’s INTO THE WOODS; Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, and More Read for Roles

     October 3, 2012

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Following the success (commercially, that is) of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, director Rob Marshall was mulling a couple of projects as his follow-up.  After his remake of The Thin Man with Johnny Depp was put on hold, the Chicago director set his sights on returning to the world of song and dance for his next film.  Marshall is prepping an adaptation of the fairy tale-themed musical Into the Woods for Disney, and he recently held a star-studded screenplay read that included the likes of Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, Allison Janney, and many more.  Additionally, it sounds like he may have settled on Meryl Streep for the lead role of the Witch.

Hit the jump for more, including the full list of actors who were in attendance for the screenplay reading.

into-the-woods-posterNews of the reading comes courtesy of Broadway World (via The Film Stage), and here’s a list of the actors that read:

  • Nina Arianda as The Baker’s Wife
  • Christine Baranski as the Stepmother
  • Tammy Blanchard as Florinda
  • Victoria Clark as Cinderella’s Mother/Giant
  • James Corden as the Baker
  • David Garrison as the Narrator
  • Ivan Hernandez as the Wolf
  • Megan Hilty as Lucinda
  • Cheyenne Jackson as Rapunzel’s Prince
  • Allison Janney as Jack’s Mother
  • Anna Kendrick as Cinderella
  • Michael McGrath as the Steward/Baker’s Father
  • Donna Murphy as the Witch
  • Laura Osnes as Rapunzel
  • Taylor Trensch as Jack
  • Casey Whyland as Little Red Riding Hood
  • Patrick Wilson as Cinderella’s Prince

It’s very important to note that screenplay reads happen all the time, and the actors that participate aren’t necessarily the actors that are gunning for the roles.  The purpose of the read is for the director to hear the script performed out loud, so he can then go back and make the necessary adjustments with the screenwriter.  That said, we know Kendrick has a set of killer pipes and I’d love to see her tackle the role of Cinderella in the full feature.

Broadway World also notes that Meryl Streep couldn’t make the reading, but she’s apparently in talks to take on the lead role of the Witch.  She made no secret of the fact that she loved doing Mamma Mia!, so it’s not a stretch to see her shining in Into the Woods.

James Lapine, who wrote the book for the stage musical iteration of Into the Woods, is apparently reworking the script while Sondheim is expected to contribute a few new songs to the film.  I didn’t think Marshall showed much promise as an action director with On Stranger Tides, but Chicago is incredible so I’m definitely interested in seeing him bring this musical fairy tale to the big screen.

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