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IN THE WORKS: Disney Rewards 'Pirates' Helmer Rob Marshall with Sondheim's 'Into the Woods'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 11, 2012 at 5:44PM

For once a studio is matching director Rob Marshall with an assignment for which is he is well-suited. Marshall moved from Broadway choreographer/director (Tony-winning "Cabaret") and television musical director (Emmy-winning "Annie") to inconsistent Hollywood filmmaker--from Oscar-winning "Chicago" to over-budget flops "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Nine."
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Bernadette Peters in James Lapine and Stephen Sonheim's 'Into the Woods'
Martha Swope Bernadette Peters in James Lapine and Stephen Sonheim's 'Into the Woods'

For once a studio is matching director Rob Marshall with an assignment for which is he is well-suited. Marshall moved from Broadway choreographer/director (Tony-winning "Cabaret") and television musical director (Emmy-winning "Annie") to inconsistent Hollywood filmmaker--from Oscar-winning "Chicago" to over-budget flops "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Nine."

Luckily for him, Disney is rewarding Marshall for directing the last "Pirates of the Caribbean" iteration, the 3-D "On Stranger Tides" (whose $1 billion worldwide gross should be properly credited to producer Jerry Bruckheimer) with the job of producing and directing original writer James Lapine's film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway fairytale musical “Into the Woods."

“Into the Woods” weaves beloved fairytales "Cinderella," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and "Rapunzel" into the story of a baker and his wife who are trying to reverse a family curse in order to have a child. “Into the Woods” earned 10 nominations at the 1988 Tony Awards, winning three including best score and best book of a musical. The 2002 Broadway revival won a Tony for best revival of a musical. Sondheim and Lapine’s other collaborations include 1984’s Pulitzer-Prize winning Tony-winning “Sunday in the Park With George” and 1994’s “Passion,” winner of four Tonys including best musical. Sondheim has won eight Tony Awards as well as several Grammys and an Oscar, while Lapine has earned seven Tony nominations for direction and is a three-time winner (out of four nominations) for best book of a musical.

Marshall and DeLuca will produce through their production company LUCAMAR Productions, which is being given a multi-year producing deal at the studio. “Rob Marshall brought his signature flair to ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ with tremendous results," stated studio chairman Rich Ross and president of production Sean Bailey. "He is the perfect person to bring ‘Into the Woods’ to the screen.”

LUCAMAR also produced “Nine” and NBC's “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” which won seven Emmy Awards.

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, Disney , Musical


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.