The Woods is a thriller based on the Graphic Novel of the same name by James Tynion IV and illustrator Michael Dialynas. The Woods tells of 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from a preparatory high school in suburban Milwaukee who vanish without a trace … only to re-appear light years away in the primordial forest of another planet.
Status: In Development
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Woods - Into the Woods (film) - Netflix
Into the Woods is a 2014 American musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall, and adapted to the screen by James Lapine from his and Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical of the same name. A Walt Disney Pictures production, it features an ensemble cast that includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, MacKenzie Mauzy, Billy Magnussen, and Johnny Depp. Inspired by the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales of “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Cinderella”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”, the film is a fantasy genre centered on a childless couple, who set out to end a curse placed on them by a vengeful witch. Ultimately, the characters are forced to rectify the consequences of their actions. After several unsuccessful attempts by other studios and producers to adapt the musical to film, Disney announced in 2012 that it was producing an adaptation, with Marshall directing and John DeLuca serving as producer. Principal photography commenced in September 2013, and took place entirely in the United Kingdom, including at Shepperton Studios in London. Into the Woods held its world premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on December 8, 2014, and was released theatrically in the United States on December 25, 2014. The film was commercially successful and received generally positive reviews, receiving praise for its acting performances and production merits, but received criticism for its lighter tone compared to the source material and the changes made for the film translation. It grossed $213 million worldwide. Into the Woods received three Academy Award nominations at the 87th Academy Awards, including a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Streep, as well as three Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
The Woods - Development at Disney - Netflix
After the critical and commercial success of Chicago in 2002, director Rob Marshall approached Stephen Sondheim as he was interested in adapting one of his musicals such as Follies and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, although Sondheim suggested Into the Woods instead. Marshall concurred, but development of the project was then postponed while he focused on directing Memoirs of a Geisha and Nine. In 2011, Marshall's interest in the project was rekindled when he heard a speech by President Barack Obama on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks to the families of the 9/11 victims, which seemed to evoke the same message as the musical's most important song, “No One Is Alone”. Marshall firmly believed that Into the Woods was “a fairy tale for the post-9/11 generation". In January 2012, Marshall approached Walt Disney Pictures—for whom he had just directed Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides—and pitched the idea to the studio, with Lapine writing the script and Sondheim “expected” to write new songs. Academy Award-winner Dion Beebe, who previously collaborated with Marshall on Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Nine, served as cinematographer. Sondheim confirmed that a new song had been written for the film. With Disney's backing, a three-day reading of the entire updated screenplay took place in New York in October 2012 under Marshall's direction, with Nina Arianda as the Baker's Wife, Victoria Clark as Cinderella's Mother/Granny/Giant, James Corden as the Baker, Donna Murphy as the Witch, Christine Baranski as Cinderella's Stepmother, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, Ivan Hernandez as the Wolf, Megan Hilty as Lucinda, Cheyenne Jackson as Rapunzel's Prince, Allison Janney as Jack's Mother, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Michael McGrath as Steward/Mysterious Man, Laura Osnes as Rapunzel, Taylor Trensch as Jack, Casey Whyland as Little Red Riding Hood, and Patrick Wilson as Cinderella's Prince. It was this reading which ultimately convinced Walt Disney Studios president Sean Bailey to green-light the film despite ongoing concerns about the dark nature of the original musical (which Disney executives had begun to understand since Marshall's original pitch). However, Disney (which self-finances all its films) provided only a relatively small production budget of $50 million (relative to other feature-length fantasy films on its development slate), in turn forcing both cast and crew to accept pay cuts to work on the film. Reports subsequently surfaced in January 2013 that Meryl Streep had been cast to play the Witch. Streep had instituted a personal “no witch” rule after she turned 40 and was offered three witch roles, but ultimately broke her own rule to do a Sondheim role again. (As a young Yale University student, she had participated in the original production of Sondheim's The Frogs.) During the same month, it was reported that Janney had been confirmed to join the film as well. Five months later, however, Tracey Ullman was cast as Jack's Mother instead.
In April 2013, Johnny Depp was in final negotiations, along with Streep, to join the film. The Hollywood Reporter reported that to help make the film on such a tight budget, Depp agreed as a favor to Disney and to Marshall (whom he had just worked with in On Stranger Tides) to a “boarding” arrangement, in which he would appear in a minor role for a fee of $1 million, instead of his typical fee of $20 million for a starring role. In May, James Corden, who took part in the reading of the screenplay, was in talks to play the role of the Baker. On May 10, 2013, Disney confirmed the casting of Streep, Depp, and Corden as the Witch, the Big Bad Wolf, and the Baker, respectively. That same month, Emily Blunt and Christine Baranski were cast, respectively, as the Baker's Wife and Cinderella's Stepmother. Marshall later confirmed that Blunt was selected for her “warm[th]” and likeability to ensure the emotional impact of the sudden death of the Baker's Wife: “[T]hat’s very important for that character because it’s the heart of the piece and you really have to love her so when she’s gone it should feel like a kick in the gut.” After she was cast, Blunt discovered she was pregnant and her costume and choreography had to be adjusted accordingly. However, her “overweight” appearance during production actually fit in with the role of the Baker's Wife; as she explained, “I feel like she would have eaten a lot of carbs working in the bakery.” Also in May, Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Pine entered negotiations to play the Princes. However, Gyllenhaal dropped out of the film due to scheduling conflicts with another film, Nightcrawler, and was subsequently replaced by Billy Magnussen. One month later, Anna Kendrick began talks to play Cinderella in the film. In June 2013, Walt Disney Studios publicly announced that the film had been greenlighted, and scheduled a release date for Christmas Day 2014. In July, MacKenzie Mauzy, Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch and Daniel Huttlestone joined the cast. In early August, Sophia Grace Brownlee's representatives announced that she had been cast as Little Red Riding Hood. The announcement of Brownlee's casting, which was widely reported but never confirmed by Disney, was criticized as “a stunt” and was met with concern due to her age and the sexual undertones present between Little Red and the Wolf. Mauzy later revealed that she first auditioned for Cinderella but did not get the part. However, director Marshall saw her audition tape and brought her back in for Rapunzel, after recognizing “the 'vulnerability' and 'emotion' Mauzy could bring to Rapunzel after she read just one line”, as he recalled. The film's plot synopsis and the official casting of lead actors Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and Emily Blunt were revealed at the D23 Expo on August 10, 2013. On September 16, 2013, Lilla Crawford was confirmed as playing the character of Little Red Riding Hood, despite previous reports suggesting Brownlee. Crawford auditioned for Marshall via Skype, who offered her the role within two hours; she was on a flight to London the next day. Later on, Dominic Brownlee spoke about the withdrawal of his daughter Sophia Grace from the movie: “After careful consideration, we the parents of Sophia Grace, felt that as rehearsals progressed that she was too young for this part. It was a joint decision between us and the director and producer of Into the Woods to withdraw Sophia Grace from the film.” Apart from Crawford, the casting of Richard Glover, Frances de la Tour, Simon Russell Beale, Joanna Riding, and Annette Crosbie in other roles was also separately announced later on September 16.
The Woods - References - Netflix