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

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by Anne Thompson
January 11, 2012 5:44 PM
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Bernadette Peters in James Lapine and Stephen Sonheim's 'Into the Woods' Martha Swope
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.

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