A staggering number of folks showed up for the reading of what will likely be Rob Marshall's next film (considering "The Thin Man" with Johnny Depp is on hold), a big screen version of Stephen Sondheim's "Into The Woods." The show, which originally premiered in 1986, continues the fairy-tale trend that is still huge in Hollywood, with the dark, complex story centering on The Baker and The Baker's Wife, who seek a way to lift a witch's curse that has left them unable to have children. And along the way, they cross paths with folks like Cinderella, Jack, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood. The show has won a stack of awards on both sides of the Atlantic and has been revived more than once. So no surprise at the names that sat down to try the material on for size. Here's how Broadway World (via The Film Stage) broke it down:
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; and Patrick Wilson as Cinderella's Prince.
The biggest name of all -- Meryl Streep -- was unable to attend, but is already in talks join the film as The Witch. Now just a reminder, this is a reading so some of these names might not stick as the movie heads toward cameras for a variety of reasons (scheduling, not right for the part, etc etc etc). But it's still a pretty good idea of the kind of folks Marshall is looking for in the roles (and Arianda, Corden, Kendrick and Hilty all have proven pipes). With "Les Miserables" poised to make big musicals viable again (sorry "Rock Of Ages"), could this find the director return for Oscar gold in a couple years time? We wouldn't count him out.