Stephen Sondheim Talks INTO THE WOODS Film; Reveals Plot Changes!
Composer Stephen Sondheim recently met with a group of high school drama teachers to talk about the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical INTO THE WOODS. The conversation was featured in a recent issue of The New Yorker.
[WARNING: Spoilers ahead!]
During the meeting, teachers shared their biggest challenges they face from school administrators over some of the more controversial elements of the show. As the composer responded to their concerns, he also revealed some plot changes that will be featured in the big screen version of the play.
When approached by one teacher about the controversial relationship between Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf in the stage production, Sondheim assured him, "Well, you'll be happy to know that Disney had the same objections." He went on to reveal, "You will find in the movie that Rapunzel does not get killed, and the prince does not sleep with the [Baker's Wife]."
Another issue brought up during the discussion was the number titled "Any Moment," which takes place as Cinderella's Prince meets the Baker's wife. Shared Sondheim, "The song is cut," but quickly clarified, "I'm sorry, I should say, it's probably cut." He went on to explain that Disney execs warned him, "we don't want Rapunzel to die', so we replotted it. I won't tell you what happens, but we wrote a new song to cover it."
Sondheim also spoke to the educators about the importance of explaining to students that censorship is something that is part of our heritage and won't soon disappear. "If you look at most plays, it's like the sonata form in music," he said. "If you screw around with that, you're taking your life in your hands." He also suggests that fighting censorship can lead to other complications. "There has to be a point at which you don't compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won't get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical. You have to deal with reality."
The cast of INTO THE WOODS features Meryl Streep as The Witch, James Corden as The Baker, Emily Blunt as The Baker's Wife,Johnny Depp as The Wolf, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince, Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel's Prince, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Lucy Punch as Lucinda, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, Christine Baranski as Cinderella's Stepmother and Tracey Ullman as Jack's Mother, with Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood and Daniel Huttlestone as Jack.
The film is set to be released on December 25, 2014.