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Chris Pine & Jake Gyllenhaal Cast As The Princes In Rob Marshall's 'Into The Woods' With Johnny Depp & Meryl Streep

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by Oliver Lyttelton
May 15, 2013 8:30 AM
7 Comments
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Chris Pine Jake Gyllenhaal
Stephen Sondheim has never been an easy sell on screen. The Broadway composer's work is complex and rich in a way that doesn't easily lend itself to big-screen transitions, and outside of early work like "West Side Story" and "Gypsy," few of his shows have made it to the big screen -- "A Little Night Music" and Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd" being the major exceptions. Given its fairy tale subject matter, "Into the Woods" always seemed like one of the more obvious contenders to make it to the movies, with Steven Spielberg, Sam Mendes and Penny Marshall among the filmmakers who've flirted with the idea in the past.

But with fairy tale movies hot, and "Les Misérables" proving a giant hit, now seems like the perfect time for it to happen, and musicals specialist Rob Marshall is currently prepping an adaptation for Disney. While it might be more commercial than, say, "Pacific Overtures," the material still presents some difficulties in selling to wider audiences, but Marshall seems to be attempting to overcome that by putting together an all-star cast. Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep and Tony-winning British actor James Corden are already on board, and now two more A-listers look to be doing their vocal warm ups, as Heat Vision report that Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal are in talks to join the project.

The two actors -- neither of whom have ever sung on screen before now -- have apparently met with, and sung for, Marshall, and are expected to get formal offers shortly. The pair will play a pair of egotistical, pompous princes who romance Cinderella (in the case of Gyllenhaal) and Rapunzel (in Pine's). They're not huge parts, but the two seem like perfect casting to us, and like Depp (who'll play the Wolf, a borderline cameo), it's a sign that Marshall's planning to stack the ensemble with A-listers, so expect more big names to follow (Corden has the lead role as the Baker, while Streep will play the Witch). Will some of the other names who took part in a reading of the show for Marshall last year (in which Cheyenne Jackson and Patrick Wilson sung the princes), including Anna Kendrick, Nina Arianda and Allison Janney, be among them? While we wait to find out, take a look at "Agony," the big number that Pine and Gyllenhaal will share, below.


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7 Comments

  • flynn | May 15, 2013 2:21 PMReply

    Their are too many well-regarded and charismatic Broadway and London West-End actors and actresses that would be perfect casting for this film adaptation. I love Streep and Depp, but they are not genuine singers and have limited vocals. I am afraid Gyllenhaal & Pine fit the same description. It is not easy singing Stephen Sondheim's songs, because you have to have strong vocals.

  • LD | May 15, 2013 2:36 PM

    Maybe you don't know, but Jake Gyllenhaal has musical theatre studies. According to director Baz Luhrmann, for whom Jake auditioned 12 years ago for Moulin Rouge, he sang "some Sondheim, very complicated song". Jake was too young then, but Baz Luhrmann recalls he has "a tremendous voice, he should do a musical". Prophetic words...

  • Travis | May 15, 2013 1:20 PMReply

    Agony is one of my favorite songs in all of Broadway. I think both actors will play the roles well, but I'm really hoping they can sing them-at least as well as Sacha Baron Cohen could in Les Mis. That will be passable for me

  • j | May 15, 2013 8:49 AMReply

    It's a sign that Marshall's planning to stack the ensemble with A-listers... like, uh, NINE?

  • Eoin Daly | May 15, 2013 11:22 AM

    I think he is filling the smaller roles (other the The Witch being played by Streep) with stars so the main roles can be played by more unknowns. Corden and Arianda are laregly unknown playing the two leads of the stories.

  • BEF | May 15, 2013 10:57 AM

    or Rob Marshall's Chicago?

  • BEF | May 15, 2013 10:56 AM

    or, uh, les miserables?

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