Into the Woods (2014) Poster


Jump to: Spoilers (14)
At a Q&A session after screening of the film, James Corden recalled an incident during rehearsals in which Meryl Streep jumped on a table and her foot got caught in her costume. She started falling backwards, head first, toward a concrete floor. Both Corden and director Rob Marshall froze in the fear that they were about to witness the death of Meryl Streep. However, a pregnant Emily Blunt stepped in and caught Streep before she hit the floor.
Most of Meryl Streep's songs in the film were sung live, even though she also had pre-recorded them.
According to Anna Kendrick, the set pieces used for the woods were so big and realistic, that she and Chris Pine actually got lost while on the sound stage, and had to be rescued by a Production Assistant.
According to Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine was extremely shy about his singing voice, and noted that he would hold back during rehearsals. She only heard his actual singing voice when she was eating lunch in the recording studio. She was in a room by herself and she heard a "beautiful, crooning voice" coming from the hallway, but she assumed that it was a singer from a different project, since multiple records were being recorded in the studio. She then noticed that the singing wasn't stopping, so she poked her head out to see who it was. To her surprise, she discovered that it was Pine, who didn't know that there was anybody else there.
Meryl Streep revealed that after turning forty, she was offered three witch roles in one year, and she implemented a 'no witches' rule. She ended up breaking that rule, after meeting Composer and Lyricist Stephen Sondheim and Rob Marshall for this film.
The first movie that Meryl Streep has made for Disney.
Emily Blunt portrays a woman who is unable to have a child in the film. Ironically, Blunt was actually pregnant during filming. This resulted in multiple different techniques to hide her pregnancy.
Because the Baker and his Wife lack proper names, Emily Blunt and James Corden referred to them as "Marjorie and Geoff" while on set.
Slight changes were made to the connotation of "Hello Little Girl" because it strongly alludes to pedophilia. The tempo was made "jazzier" and the producers felt the double-entendres would most likely fly over kids' heads.
Emily Blunt revealed that the "Any Moment" sequence was rehearsed when she was about three months pregnant, and it was filmed when she was about seven months pregnant. The change showed during filming, as Blunt noted that during the scene, Chris Pine dips her during a dance, and that Pine's arms were shaking due to the change in weight.
Chris Pine wasn't aware of the original Into the Woods play, but wanted to audition just based on the cast and the director. On the night before his singing audition, he decided to google the play and to his horror, found pages of fan message boards and comments, along with passionate positive reviews of the play and Broadway show. This made him so nervous, that he didn't sleep at all that night and even briefly considered canceling the meeting with Rob Marshall.
Before being cast as Cinderella, Anna Kendrick believed she was going in for the role of Red Riding Hood, due to the part being played by a young twenty-something woman in the original Broadway production.
A few of the cast members, including Chris Pine and James Corden, have stated in interviews, that working with Meryl Streep was the best professional moment of their career, but it was also intimidating. Corden was highly nervous to work with Streep, because of her star power.
According to Johnny Depp, he modeled the Big Bad Wolf's mischievous persona after the slick-talking, Zoot-suit wearing Wolf from old 1940s Tex Avery cartoons.
Lilla Crawford replaced Sophia Grace Brownlee as Little Red one week after filming began.
Chris Pine's audition song for the film was "Fly Me to the Moon" by Bart Howard, as performed by Frank Sinatra.
When in negotiations to play Sally Bowles on Broadway in Cabaret, Rob Marshall asked Emma Stone to play the role of Cinderella, but she turned it down, because she didn't think she had the vocal range. She jokingly asked Marshall if she could, instead, "play Jack." Two years later, she accepted the main role in La La Land (2016), and won the Golden Globe as Best Actress in Comedy or Musical, and the Best Actress in a Leading Role Academy Award.
This is the fourth time Lucy Punch has played a "Cinderella's stepsister" stock character. Previous projects are Ella Enchanted (2004), Cinderella (2000), and Fairy Tales (2008).
In earlier drafts, the essential Narrator character from the original stage musical was still part of the story. Before the role was written out of the script, many actors were either considered, in talks, or asked to play the role including Jeremy Irons, Christopher Plummer, Geoffrey Rush, James Earl Jones, John Cleese, Sir Michael Caine, Michael Gambon, and Alan Rickman. There were even rumors about giving this role to a female, such as Julie Andrews or Angela Lansbury, who are both Disney favorites, as well as experts on Stephen Sondheim's material.
Overall, the screen adaptation by James Lapine is fairly close to his original stage musical. The only large change is the replacement of the Narrator, using the Baker's voiceover for the narration. Another noticeable change is the cut of the Mysterious Man, some of whose lines are reassigned to the Witch.
Within a week of being cast, Emily Blunt discovered she was pregnant. When she called to inform Rob Marshall, he jokingly asked if she was actually pregnant.
HIDDEN MICKEY: The design on the front of the baker's vest.
Due to the original musical's mature themes and dark content, Disney had to have several scenes omitted or revised, which resulted in a re-written subplot involving Rapunzel, as well as several deaths being implied, by having them occur off-screen.
This is Daniel Huttlestone's (Jack) second movie musical. The first one is Les Misérables (2012).
The songs from the original stage musical that did not make it into the film adaptation are "I Guess This is Goodbye", "Maybe They're Magic", "Our Little World", "First Midnight", "Second Midnight", "Act I Finale: Ever After", "Act II Prologue: So Happy", "Agony (Reprise)" and "No More". Stephen Sondheim also wrote two original songs especially for the film: "Rainbows", which is a duet for Baker and his Wife and another one for the Witch, called "She'll Be Back," neither of which made into the final film.
This is a screen debut for Lilla Crawford (Red Riding Hood). She previously starred in the title role of "Annie" on Broadway, which was directed by Into The Woods' Screenwriter James Lapine.
There have been several other attempts to bring "Into the Woods" to the screen. At one point in 1994, it got as far as a reading at Penny Marshall's house, with Robin Williams, Goldie Hawn, and Cher. Later, it was developed at Columbia Pictures, with director Rob Minkoff attached, and Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, and Susan Sarandon in talks to star.
Rob Marshall was inspired to do a film version of "Into the Woods" after President Barack Obama quoted one of the musical's most popular songs, "No One is Alone", during a memorial service on the 10th anniversary of September 11th terrorist attacks. He said to the families of the victims, "You are not alone. No one is alone." Though the reference was likely unintentional, Marshall stated that the reference made the musical relevant and saw it as "a fairytale for the post-9/11 generation."
The first people Rob Marshall cast for the film were in the following order: Meryl Streep as the Witch in Spring 2013, Johnny Depp as the Wolf, James Corden as the Baker, Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal as the princes, Emily Blunt as the Baker's Wife, and Christine Baranski as Cinderella's Stepmother. The rest were cast later. There were rumors that Emma Stone was being considered for the film, it is not reported which role, and Jim Carrey was mentioned for the role of the Baker. Chris Pine later replaced Jake Gyllenhaal as Cinderella's Prince and Billy Magnussen replaced Chris Pine as Rapunzel's Prince.
Johnny Depp's second film adaptation of a Stephen Sondheim musical. The first was Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).
The second theatrical film adaptation of a Broadway play or musical produced by The Walt Disney Company. The first was Babes in Toyland (1934), an adaption of the Victor Herbert operetta.
The original 1987 Broadway production of "Into the Woods" earned Tony Awards for Best Original Score (Stephen Sondheim) and Best Book of a Musical (James Lapine) beating "The Phantom of the Opera" (Andrew Lloyd Webber). However, "The Phantom of the Opera" took home the Best Musical award.
This is the second collaboration between Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt. They previously starred together in The Devil Wears Prada (2006).
At one point during his performance in the intentionally broad song "Agony," and again when addressing the panicking palace crowds, Chris Pine does an impression of William Shatner. Pine is also a star of the Star Trek (2009) movie franchise. He plays Captain James T. Kirk, a role originated by Shatner in Star Trek (1966).
This is not the first time Meryl Streep has been involved in a film adaptation based on a stage play or musical. Others include Marvin's Room (1996), Doubt (2008), Mamma Mia! (2008), and August: Osage County (2013).
Tina Fey auditioned for the role of the Baker's Wife.
In some productions of Into the Woods, the roles of Red Riding Hood and Jack are played by young twenty year olds. In the original Broadway production, Danielle Ferland (the original Red) and Ben Wright (original Jack) were fifteen and sixteen when it opened. In the movie Lilla Crawford (Red) was around twelve years old during filming, and Daniel Huttlestone (Jack) was thirteen.
Alan Cumming was considered to play The Wolf.
Chris Pine's character in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) is called "Prince Charming" a few times throughout the film. In this film, he actually plays Prince Charming.
Rob Marshall decided not to film in 3-D on his relatively modest budget of roughly fifty million dollars..
Billy Magnussen, who plays Rapunzel's Prince, played the sexy and self-indulgent role of "Spike" in the Tony Award-winning play "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." In the play, his character dresses up as Disney's Prince Charming for a costume party. Before the play ended its run on Broadway, Magnussen was cast as Rapunzel's Prince for this movie, which is produced by Disney. Magnussen had to leave the show in August, to fly to London, to begin rehearsals for the film.
Before Tracey Ullman was cast as Jack's Mother, Allison Janney and Kathy Bates were in talks for the role.
Christine Baranski's third movie musical. She starred in Chicago (2002) which Rob Marshall also directed, and alongside Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia! (2008).
This is the second film that James Corden has appeared in which involved the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The first was Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story (2001), where he played a giant.
This is Tracey Ullman's third fairy tale movie musical. Ullman played Princess Fred in The Wonderful World of Disney: Once Upon a Mattress (2005) (directed by Rob Marshall's sister, Kathleen Marshall), a musical based on The Princess and the Pea; and Latrine in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), although she did not sing in the latter.
This is Rob Marshall's third directorial musical film, his others being Chicago (2002) and Nine (2009).
Emily Blunt found out about her Golden Globe nomination for the film, while she was having a massage in Dubai, where she served as a member of the Dubai Film Festival.
Originally, after Witch's Lament, there was a new song (which Stephen Sondheim wrote especially for Meryl Streep) called "She'll Be Back", that was recorded, shot, but ultimately cut from the film. The scene is available in the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film.
This is Anna Kendrick's third movie musical, and James Corden's second. Her first two were Camp (2003) and Pitch Perfect (2012), and his was Begin Again (2013).
To help get the project green-lit, several actors and actresses (most of whom did not appear in the film) attended a table read, including: Nina Arianda (as The Baker's Wife), Christine Baranski (Cinderella's Stepmother), Tammy Blanchard (Florinda), Victoria Clark (Cinderella's Mother/Granny/The Giant), James Corden (The Baker), David Garrison (The Narrator), Ivan Hernandez (The Wolf), Megan Hilty (Lucinda), Cheyenne Jackson (Rapunzel's Prince), Allison Janney (Jack's Mother), Anna Kendrick (Cinderella), Mike McGrath (Steward/Mysterious Man), Donna Murphy (the Witch), Laura Osnes (Rapunzel), Taylor Trensch (Jack), Casey Whyland (Red Riding Hood), and Patrick Wilson (Cinderella's Prince).
The original 1987 Broadway production for "Into the Woods" starred Bernadette Peters as the Witch, Joanna Gleason as the Baker's Wife, Chip Zien as the Baker, Tom Aldredge as the Mysterious Man/Narrator and Barbara Bryne as Jack's Mother. The first Broadway revival in 2002 starred Vanessa Williams as the Witch, John McMartin as the Narrator/Mysterious Man, and Laura Benanti as Cinderella. Both Broadway productions were directed by James Lapine the librettist. In July of 2012, New York's Shakespeare in the Park production featured Donna Murphy as the Witch, Amy Adams as the Baker's Wife, and Denis O'Hare as the Baker.
This marks the second film in which Emily Blunt and James Corden appear together, the first being Gulliver's Travels (2010).
Several of the songs cut from the film, are used as underscoring, including "No More" and "Ever After".
James Corden played Craig Owens on two episodes of Doctor Who (2005), with Matt Smith. In the second episode, Craig is a new father of a son, about whom he complains "only cries when I hold him." The same complaint he makes, at least twice to his wife, as his role as the Baker in this movie.
The second collaboration between Johnny Depp and Rob Marshall, after Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).
Chris Pine was a major character in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004). In those movies, Anne Hathaway's character (Princess Mia) learns to wave like a queen by using a slower hand motion so as not to get exhausted. In his role as Prince Charming in this movie, Chris Pine uses the same exact wave throughout the movie.
In the Latin American version of the movie, only the dialogue is dubbed into Spanish. The songs are featured in English, and subtitled in Spanish.
Annette Crosbie's second appearance in a film with Cinderella. She played the Fairy Godmother in The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella (1976).
The play is based on many fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, including Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, and many more.
Instrumental music from Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" is heard twice: the Festival music is "Night Waltz", and the harp plays "You Must Meet My Wife".
Tracey Ullman, who plays Jack's mother, sang live on-set in filming.
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Emily Blunt auditioned, and was considered for, Anna Kendrick's role in Up in the Air (2009), for which she was Oscar nominated. They appear together in this film.
Sissy Spacek was considered for the Witch.
Reunites Meryl Streep and Christine Baranski after Mamma Mia! (2008).
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Rob Marshall considered actresses he previously worked with to play the Witch: Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago (2002)) and Penélope Cruz and Nicole Kidman (Nine (2009)).
During filming, the ensemble cast appeared in the music video Paul McCartney: Queenie Eye (2013).
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Frances de la Tour also played a giant, Madame Olympe Maxime, in the Harry Potter franchise.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lilla Crawford played Annie on Broadway. Rob Marshall directed a movie version, The Wonderful World of Disney: Annie (1999).
Emily Blunt also played Juliet in Gnomeo & Juliet (2011), in which she also sings.
The forth musical adaptation Rob Marshall directed after The Wonderful World of Disney: Annie (1999), Chicago (2002), and Nine (2009). He is set to direct his fifth musical film, Mary Poppins Returns (2018).
6 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the movie, the Witch brought blackberries, and said "I brought your favorite". In Disney's other Rapunzel story Tangled (2010), Rapunzel's favorite food was known to be hazelnut soup.
7 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In this movie, Lucy Punch plays one of Cinderella's stepsisters, Lucinda. She also previously appeared as the stepsister, named Hattie, in another Cinderella-type movie, Ella Enchanted (2004), and in that movie, the fairy godmother is named Lucinda.
7 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Billy Magnussen guest starred on CBS' The Good Wife (2009), where Christine Baranski was a regular cast member.
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Anna Kendrick plays a singer, who has a stepmother, in Pitch Perfect (2012).
7 of 42 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Tammy Blanchard and Mackenzie Mauzy both appeared on Guiding Light (1952).
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the stage production, the witch is typically played by a young actress in old age make-up, who then has the old age make-up removed after the transformation takes place. Meryl Streep admitted that at the age of 64, when she filmed the role, it was more of a challenge to make her appear clearly younger after the transformation takes place.
Despite the Witch's revelation that Rapunzel is the Baker's sister, they never actually meet.
Johnny Depp has nearly five minutes of screentime.
Frances de la Tour played another giant character, the half-giant Madame Olympe Maxime, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005).
In the original stage production, Rapunzel dies by running off and being crushed by the giant. In the theatrical release, she rides off with her Prince.
In the original stage musical, the death of Jack's mother was more violent, with the Steward clubbing her with his cane. In this film, he merely pushes her to the ground.
In the original stage production, the Baker's father helps the Baker and his wife with the items they need to lift the curse, and dies when it is lifted. In the film, he appears as a vision.
The Giant's face is not seen in full, until the moment she is killed.
Other versions of Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk were released within a year of this film. Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (2015) was released three months later, while Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) was released the year before. Both version of Jack's story feature him, like the Hebrew champion David, using a sling-thrown stone to the forehead to kill the giant.
This is the second movie in which Meryl Streep undergoes a magical age transformation. The first was Death Becomes Her (1992).
Some minor characters were cut out from the original play, such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella's father, and the Mysterious Man (which later is revealed as the Baker's father, but in the movie the Baker's Father only appears as a vision in Act II, whereas originally, he appears as a real live man since the beginning of the play).
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The one item that the Witch is unable to use, belonged to the Baker's sister Rapunzel.
The only thing used to reverse the Baker's curse, that does not come from a human, is the hair as yellow as corn.
3 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The only item for the potion, that belonged to a boy, was the cow as white as milk.
7 of 62 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page