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Rob Marshall to Direct INTO THE WOODS Film for Disney!

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The Hollywood Reporter has spoken exlusively to director Rob Marshall and gotten the scoop that he is now at work on a new film adaption for Disney of the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical INTO THE WOODS (which will return to New York this summer in Central Park as per an EXCLUSIVE BWW Article).

Lapine tells the Hollywood Reporter that:  "Lapine is now at work on the script, which Marshall expects to feature new songs by Sondheim."

“He’s a genius when it comes to his score,” Marshall says of Sondheim, “but what’s so extraordinary is, he really understands all the elements of theater — the choreography, the book and the production design — and has an amazing sense of the whole.”

Marshall at one point had thought of directing Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, but that fell through because of “timing,” he says. 

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Marshall's films have been honored with a total of 23 Academy Award nominations - winning nine, including Best Picture. His most recent film, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, has grossed over one billion dollars at the worldwide box office becoming the "8th Highest Grossing Picture in History." He is currently developing "The Thin Man" starring Johnny Depp.

Marshall's film "Nine" was nominated for four Academy Awards, five Golden Globes and 10 Critics Choice Awards. His previous directorial efforts include the Academy Award-winning films "Chicago" and "Memoirs of a Geisha." For his work on "Chicago," winner of six Oscars including Best Picture, Marshall received the Directors Guild Award, an Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe Award nomination, a BAFTA nomination, The National Board of Review Award and the New York Film Critics Online Award, both for best directorial debut, as well as the American Choreography Award. His epic film "Memoirs of a Geisha" was the winner of three Oscars, three BAFTA Awards and a Golden Globe. Both "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Chicago" were nominated for CAS Awards.

Marshall executive produced, directed and choreographed the NBC television event "Tony Bennett: An American Classic." He won his second Directors Guild Award for this production as well as three Emmy Awards himself for Direction, Choreography and Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special. He directed and choreographed Disney/ABC's critically acclaimed movie musical "Annie," which received 12 Emmy nominations, a CAS nomination and won the prestigious Peabody Award. Former CAS President Edward L. Moskowitz commented, "It was to great to work with Rob Marshall on "Annie". Rob's depth of experience in live entertainment enhanced his inspirational leadership on the set and I am proud that the Cinema Audio Society has decided to honor him with our Filmmaker Award."

A six-time Tony Award nominee and George Abbott Award winner, Marshall's stage work includes co-directing and choreographing the worldwide award-winning Broadway production of "Cabaret" and directing and choreographing the Broadway revival of "Little Me," starring Martin Short. He made his Broadway choreographic debut with "Kiss of the Spider Woman," directed by Harold Prince, which also played London's West End and Vienna. He followed that with productions of "She Loves Me" on Broadway and London; "Damn Yankees" on Broadway, National Tour and London; Blake Edwards' "Victor/Victoria" on Broadway; "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" on Broadway; "Company" on Broadway; "The Petrified Forest" at the New York Public Theatre, and "Promises, Promises" for City Center Encores! Additional choreography credits include the Disney/ABC movie musical "Cinderella" (Emmy nomination), the CBS movie musical "Mrs. Santa Claus"(Emmy nomination), and The Kennedy Center Honors (Kander & Ebb and Chita Rivera tributes).

INTO THE WOODS debuted in San Diego at the Old Globe Theatre on December 4, 1986. Directed by James Lapine, it played 50 performances. The show then moved into Broadway's Martin Beck Theatre on November 5, 1987. Playing 764 performances on Broadway, the original production garnered three Tony Awards, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical, and a Grammy Award. The original cast featured Bernadette Peters (The Witch) and Joanna Gleason (The Baker's Wife). The original cast was videotaped for PBS' "Great Performances" series and is now available on DVD.

INTO THE WOODS' Broadway run was followed by a successful 17-month national tour in 1988, much-heralded West End productions in 1990 (available as an RCA cast album) and 1998, as well as a star-studded a tenth anniversary concert in 1997.

INTO THE WOODS' 2002 Broadway revival also began out of town at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Directed by James Lapine and starring Vanessa Williams, New York previews began on April 13, 2002. The production opened April 30, 2002 at the Broadhurst Theatre. Playing 279 performances, the revival won the Tony Awards for the Best Revival of a Musical and Best Lighting Design.

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