Long before ABC’s Once Upon a Time and years before Vertigo’s Fables – Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim along with writer James Lapine had the notion to combine many of the Grimm Brothers’ better known Fairy Tale characters into a single story. The musical made its Broadway debut in 1987, becoming an instant success and winning several Tony awards including Best Score and Best Book.
This year at Disney’s D23 fan expo, the House of Mouse and director Rob Marshall announced they would be releasing the film adaption of the hit musical on December 25th 2014, but until now have remained mostly silent regarding updates or promotion, save for a few bits of casting news such as Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Prince Charming, Johnny Depp as The Big Bad Wolf, and Meryl Streep as the Witch, a role originated by Broadway legend Bernadette Peters (check her out in the original performance here).
Now, Disney has released the first still from the film, showcasing Streep as the Witch, and if this image is any indication of the rest of the film, many Into The Woods fans just let out a sigh of relief. The image perfectly captures the character, crucial to the story, which sees several beloved characters (The Baker, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack of Beanstalk fame) set off on separate journeys into the titular woods, each hoping to find their own happy ending.
The screenplay was adapted by Lapine, and Sondheim has stated that he’s written a new song for the film, to be performed by Streep’s Witch. With the release date fast approaching, expect more stills and an eventual trailer released over the course of the next few months. In the meantime, those curious to know more about the original Broadway production should seek out the filmed version, available for instant streaming on Netflix. As always, we want to hear your thoughts… Are you a fan of the original musical? Will you give the movie a shot? What about non-musical fans — is the cast enough to entice you to check out the film?