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It would take a complete movie cynic to think that Disney and director Rob Marshall’s upcoming adaptation of Steven Sondheim’s hugely popular Tony Award winning musical Into the Woods isn’t a great idea, theoretically. Hollywood and fairy tales of all sorts go well together historically, as do Hollywood and musicals-- especially when stars as big as Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep are already on board in major roles. There isn’t much evidence of how well films do with bread makers in the lead, but if that trend has to start somewhere…
Wisely, Disney and director Rob Marshall have chosen someone quite familiar to share with the stage for their leading man bread maker, as British actor James Corden has been hired for the part, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Corden won the Best Actor in a Play Tony in 2012 for his role for the Broadway staging of the comedy One Man, Two Guvnors. But if you haven’t been out to the theater recently, you’ll probably know Corden best from his hilarious BAFTA-winning performance as Smithy in the British comedy Gavin and Stacey, which he co-created with co-star Ruth Jones. He also starred in both the theater and theatrical versions of The History Boys, and hit American cinemas in the last couple of years with roles in Gulliver’s Travels and The Three Musketeers.We won’t hold those last two films against him though.
For In the Woods, he’ll play the married baker, whose wife was rendered barren by a spell placed on her by a real bitch of a witch, whose dastardly ways will be dealt out by Meryl Streep . The baker heads into the titular woods to find the witch, running into all your favorite storybook characters along his journey.
While we originally thought Johnny Depp would play the baker, he has officially signed on to play the big bad (presumably wildly eccentric) wolf.
Into the Woods will begin filming in London this September, and I for one am feeling a lot better about this project now that Corden has stepped into the role.