Meryl Streep looms so large in Hollywood and the public consciousness that she doesn't even need to be at an event to steal the show. Just consider this year's Golden Globes, which she sadly could not attend because of that vile flu. Many watching were positively outraged when Silver Linings Playbook's Jennifer Lawrence accepted her award by crowing "I beat Meryl!" Without the ever-gracious national treasure there to laugh along, Lawrence earned instant "how dare she" scolding on the Internet. The message was clear: you don't mess with Meryl.
So, it's absolutely thrilling to discover Streep will be playing the role of the menacing witch in Rob Marshall's movie adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's beloved Broadway musical Into the Woods. We first heard word that Streep was in talks for the role last fall. Her casting has since been confirmed by the Litchfield County Times, a Connecticut paper that interviewed composer David Krane, who previously worked with Marshall on Chicago and Nine, and will once more on Into the Woods.
Amid discussing his new stage musical, The Road to Qatar, Krane let the cat of the bag about Streep's casting, saying:
"They are doing a movie of the musical Into the Woods. Disney is going to make the movie and I will do the arrangements. Meryl Streep will be the witch and it will be the first time I have worked with her since 1977 when we did Happy End.”
Happy End was a Broadway musical that earned Streep a Drama Desk Award for her portrayal of Lieutenant Lillian "Hallelujah Lil" Holiday. Since then, Streep has appeared in a handful of movie musicals, most memorably 2008's Mamma Mia. Of course, the easy to groove to tunes of ABBA are a lot easier to sing that Sondheim's famously fast and tricky lyrics. But this is Meryl we're talking about here. She's sure to be stupendous.
There's no word yet on when Into the Woods might roll into production.