Rob Marshall to Direct Steven Sondheim’s INTO THE WOODS for Disney; Gives Brief Update on PIRATES 5

     January 10, 2012

Director Rob Marshall is heading back to musicals. After helming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Marshall signed on to direct a remake of the 1934 film The Thin Man with Johnny Depp attached to star, and now he’s set to reteam with Disney on a feature film version of Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale-themed musical Into the Woods. Marshall got his start as a choreographer before bursting onto the scene with 2002’s Oscar-winning movie musical Chicago, and now he’s poised to return to the world of song and dance. Hit the jump for more.

rob-marshall-imageSondheim’s 1980s Broadway musical “intertwines several classic fairytale characters, including Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, with the story of a baker and his wife’s attempt to have a family.” It’s no surprise that Disney jumped at the chance to put Into the Woods into development given the fact that every other movie currently in production seems to be a reboot/remake of a classic fairy tale.

THR reports that James Lapine, who wrote the original musical, is currently at work on the script and Marshall expects Sondheim to contribute new songs to the feature. The director is said to be considering either Into the Woods and The Thin Man as his next directorial effort. When we last reported on The Thin Man, Billy Ray had been brought on to work on the script, and now Marshall reveals that they’re “very close to having a first draft.”

Marshall also gave a brief update on Pirates of the Caribbean 5. I thought On Stranger Tides was by far the worst of the Pirates franchise, so I’m not too keen on the idea of Marshall returning for a fifth installment. No director is officially attached to the all-but-guaranteed sequel, but Marshall appears to be in the know as he said it’s currently in the script stage:

Terry [Rossio] is writing it and he’s working incredibly hard and he did a draft and rethought it all and started working on it again. You want to make sure you are asking the audience to come back to see an exciting adventure and it has to reach that caliber, and if not there’s no reason to do it. I know Johnny feels the same way: He needs to see a script, but he would be happy — if it’s the right script — to put that hat and sword back on.”

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer previously said as much, revealing that they had a script but decided they could do better, so they went back to the outline phase. Rossio scripted the four previous Pirates entries with partner Ted Elliott, but he’s working on the fifth film solo. Essentially, though, the status of Pirates 5 depends on whether or not Johnny Depp is happy with the script.

Here’s a clip from the 2002 revival of Into the Woods:

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