David Krane, arranger for Into the Woods has confirmed that Meryl Streep will play the role of the Witch in an upcoming film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s fairytale musical.
In a recent interview, arranger and playwright David Krane has revealed that not only will Disney be producing a film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1986 musical Into the Woods, but none other than Meryl Streep will lead the cast in the pivotal role of the Witch. We reported on rumors of this development back in October, and it’s incredibly exciting to learn that the long-shelved adaptation will receive such starry treatment.
According to BroadwayWorld, Krane will do the arrangements for Into the Woods, while Rob Marshall (most recently at the helm of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) will produce and direct. Stephen Sondheim will reportedly pen new songs for the project, and original book writer James Lapine will adapt the screenplay.
A screenplay reading of Into the Woods was held in October that offers tentative hints as to who will fill out the rest of the extensive cast. Notable names included Allison Janney as Jack’s Mother, Anna Kendrick in the role of Cinderella, and James Corden as the Baker.
Donna Murphy, the voice of Mother Gothel in Tangled, filled the role of the Witch in the screenplay reading, as well as in the Delacourt Theater production of Into the Woods in 2012. Broadway legend Bernadette Peters originated the role in 1986, and her interpretation is the gold-standard against which all other would-be witches are judged. Streep will unquestionably bring a tremendous gravitas to the mercurial, intermittently villainous character, though the question of her singing talent remains a concern, as the role of the Witch is vocally grueling, to say the least. Still, Streep is nothing if not a professional, and it will be exciting to see what she brings to Into the Woods as we watch the long-awaited project finally develop.