NOW PLAYING

in theaters


review index

new on DVD/BluRay


review index

HOT TOPICS



Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT(s) DU JOUR
Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

"It's baffling to me that Amy Adams will potentially have as many nominations as Blanchett, Winslet, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Thelma Ritter, Deborah Kerr, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This is weird, right?" -Aaron

"What is happening with Nina Arianda's Janis film with Sean Durkin? It's still listed as "announced" on her IMDB. Are we to assumed that it is a lost cause?" -Ryan

 

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe
« 10 Things I Learned About Kathleen Turner This Week | Main | "Critics Choice" Live Blog »
Thursday
Jan122012

Cast This! Rob Marshall and "Into the Woods"

As frightening... as bewildering... as wrong as it is to say after a decade of breakthroughs (Moulin Rouge!), critical triumphs (Dancer in the Dark, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and box office hits (Chicago, Dreamgirls, Hairspray) and problematic but Oscar nominated efforts (Nine, Sweeney Todd, Phantom of the Opera) ... the movie musical is still in trouble. It probably will be until another Vincente Minnelli or Bob Fosse arrives on the scene, someone who understands and breathes and trusts the very cinematic language of the musical. Until then we'll get bored directors detouring or novices who think it might be "fun" to try one... or Rob Marshall.

Will no young director challenge Rob Marshall as King of the Musicals?

Stage turned film director Rob Marshall was initially seen as something of a savior of the form when Chicago (2002) became a smash hit and Best Picture winner. It had been 34 years since a movie musical had had that honor. But his musical follow up Nine (2009) proved a massive flop and a target of critical derision. Though I thought it was better than it got credit for being (how could it not be given the vitriol?) in tandem with Chicago it revealed too little range and an inherent distrust of the form he had been handed, without competition, to rule; the music in both films emerged on sound stages as hallucinations or performative fantasy. His two subsequent non-musicals (Memoirs of a Geisha and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) were much worse, with listless dramatics and overstuffed weightless business for plot. Nevertheless, Hollywood logic prevails. Disney, looking at the colossal gross of On Stranger Tides, has obviously forgiven Marshall for Nine's red ink and rewarded him with the reigns of the film version of a bonafide masterpiece, Stephen Sondheim's twisted fairy tale classic Into the Woods. Never mind that I could have directed On Stranger Tides (it would have been all about the mermaids and they would have drowned Captain Jack in the first half hour) and it would still have been a top grosser. In Hollywood you get credit for blockbuster grosses even if you are obviously replaceable since anyone helming a long running franchise will produce a similar size hit. Audiences are lemmings when it comes to those big franchises. 

So though I weep that Into the Woods isn't getting a world class auteur, and I shudder most of all to think of those glorious songs sung by people who can't handle the intricacies of the music -- Marshall casts for stardom first even if they can't sing and Sondheim obviously writes only for great singers who can act -- we should try and stay positive. Let's play...

Bernadette Peters leads the cast of the original INTO THE WOODS (1987)

CAST THIS!

For those of you who aren't familiar, Into the Woods is a musical by the living legend Stephen Sondheim. He typically favors a two act construction where the second act shifts the tone and meaning of the piece. Into the Wood's first act introduces you to a bunch of very familiar fairy tale characters and it's all very funny and light and it ends happily as watered down modern reworkings of fairy tales often do. In Act Two, though, the characters start getting bored with their "Ever After". Neurosis and resentments and fear and all sorts of recognizable humanity punctures the archetypes and it becomes a very different and very genius musical altogether. It has tremendous fun and insight in investigating the relationships between parents and children and the relationship between people and their aspirations in particular. Into the Woods is a true ensemble so there aren't really any leads but let's cast a few key roles. The most important thing is that all players have to have great voices and be equally at ease in comic and dramatic moments.

Vanessa Williams as the Witch in the Broadway revivalTHE WITCH
Bernadette Peters originated this role and Vanessa Williams reprised it on Broadway. If you have to cast for major movie stars, this is the role you do it with. The witch needs to be a sassy beautiful mature diva with real pipes, an actress who could have fun playing both an old crone and a beautiful younger bitch. She has to be able to do comedy ("Beans") a thwarted curdled sense of maternity ("Stay With Me") and authoritarian fury ("The Last Midnight"). She's sort of a villain but not really because Sondheim always beautifully complicates things. A lot of people would work here and though I'm partial to Kristin Chenoweth -- no one beats her in the realm of musical comedy with spectacular vocal work -- I'm expecting they'll go with the biggest movie (or pop) star they can find in this showstopping role. And once it gets to casting you'll hear every name imaginable I'm sure. [Trivia: in the proposed film version in 1994, Cher was to play the witch! You do need a diva in this role.]

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
Obviously a younger actress here, with a certain comic innocence mixed with sexual precocity ("I Know Things Now")

JACK
A younger boisterous actor here to play the famous beanstalk climbing adventurer. Must be able to show adventurous can do spirit while also playing vulnerable fears and humanity ("Giants in the Sky") No Nicolas Hoult because I'm sure he won't be reprising the role anytime soon!

CINDERELLA
Laura Benanti, who we recently loved on "The Playboy Club", won a Tony nomination for this role in the last Broadway revival. You need a beauty with a gorgeous voice. I mean they have to be able to nail the penultimate ballad "No One is Alone". Here's Bernadette singing it.

BAKER and BAKER'S WIFE
These two, not based on fairy tale characters, are crucial to the emotional success of the piece. You need two good actors who'd work very well together with emotional range; they have an unhappy childless marriage and do a lot of desperate dreaming. The Baker's Wife eventually runs off with Cinderella's Prince and the Baker takes Jack under his wing and gets one of the most moving songs in the whole show ("No More"). [Trivia: in the aborted 1994 film version Robin Williams and Goldie Hawn were set for these roles. Goldie Hawn has a beautiful singing voice which you'll already know if you've seen Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You (1996)]

THE WOLF / WOLVES
Wide age range possible here. Must be able to do sexual lasciviousness and unchecked appetite without being too icky ("Hello Little Girl") and thus must be funny [Trivia: This was going to be Steve Martin's role in the '94 version]. In an interesting note the wolf or wolves are sometimes played by the same actors as the princes. Movies don't generally employ this stage thematic connection trick, but it might be fun if movies did if the filmmaking were skillful enough.

RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE and CINDERELLA'S PRINCE
Should be lookers who can also sing and who are gifted with comedy. They have some of Gaston's arrogance from Beauty and the Beast to cite a semi-kindred example though they aren't evil. They're more confused than angry about what the princesses want from them. I vote Patrick Wilson but who else...? 

THE NARRATOR
You need someone with solid dry wit here -- not overtly "aren't I hilarious?" antics. This is going to be the most problematic role for a movie version -- a very stage-centric role. He comments on the proceedings but takes no part in them though the other characters do try to involve him humourously  -- and one that I fear will trigger all of Marshall's worst instincts about "audiences don't like musicals so here's a conceit by which you'll understand that people are singing!!!"

• WOULD YOU LOVE TO SEE AN "INTO THE WOODS" OR ARE YOU TO NERVOUS ABOUT ROB MARSHALL?
• WHO DO YOU SEE IN THE ROLES? 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (70)

The Witch - CATHERINE ZETA-JONES. I would love to see her in a screen musical again (that's not Rock of Ages). Or even MICHELLE PFEIFFER (although she already played a similar role in Stardust)

Little Red Riding Hood - someone adorable like MIA WASIKOWSKA? I don't know if she can sing though...EVAN RACHEL WOOD perhaps?

Cinderella - CAREY MULLIGAN or AMANDA SEYFRIED

Baker & Baker's Wife - EWAN McGREGOR and TONI COLLETTE

Jack - I'm not even a fan of Glee but I think CHRIS COLFER would be a good choice. Or EDDIE REDMAYNE

The Wolf - ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. He can be menacing + sexy and can sing

Cinderella's Prince - HUGH JACKMAN
Rapunzel's Prince - PATRICK WILSON

The Narrator - I don't know...DONALD SUTHERLAND?

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

Let's do this!

The Witch: so many possibilities, it is hard to decide. This could easily go to Catherine Zeta Jones, but I'd love to see Michelle Pfeiffer (though perhaps too close to her Stardust role). Charlize Theron would be awesome fun too, eh? Wasn't she supposed to be Roxie at one point in the Chicago development?

The Baker's Wife: What a part this could be for Toni Collette! I prefer when the Baker's Wife is just past or on the edge of passing the child-bearing age. So basically, any of the women leading a series on Showtime qualify. How about Jennifer Westfeldt?!

Cinderella: Anne Hathaway (too big for the role now? Laura Benanti showed it's not a thankless part) or, better yet, Alison Brie of "Community" and "Mad Men."

The Baker: Any regular supporting actor in his late 30's, but could be a dramatic breakout for Zach Galifinakis. Neil Patrick Harris anyone?

The Wolf: Jon Hamm. Done.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Should've also mentioned Kristin Wiig, Rose Byrne, or Maya Rudolph in the Baker's Wife role (heck, even Tina Fey since it's on film!)

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Come on....do I have to say it....MERYL STREEP for the witch!!!! :)

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

But DOES Sondheim only write for good singers? I mean, take Hermione Gringold for example an AMAZING performer and she enunciates beautifully, but I'd hardly call her a great singer and she's the ONLY one who does justice to "Liaisons" from A Little Night Music (not even Angela Lansbury could do that song justice).

And, I wonder, sure it's a musical - one of my faves - and I want them to stay true to the story, but they need to get some balls and make changes if it works - not necessarily like NINE (which incidentally, I liked a great deal, but I digress...) I think he should work with Lapine and Sondheim on a script without the narrator, all the specifically stage humour would make almost no sense on film like the "Why is he telling the story?" bit.

Anyhow, my head as been spinning by this a) because Into the Woods is great and if Rob can do any Sondheim musical this is probably best - and I'll always appreciate him for Annie. And, I'm inclined to launch a whole website on casting this (am I serious? am I speaking in jest? Who knows?) but snap decisions on who to cast...


JACK'S MOTHER - Kathy Bates (worked with Rob in Annie, so we know he knows her)
JACK - *scratches head*, ummm, Freddie Highmore? Can he sing?
MYSTERIOUS MAN - Daniel Day Lewis...why not?
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD - Jodelle Ferland
RAPUNZEL - Amanda Seyfried, she just has got "aaaaaaaaaaaaah" and sing "Our Little World"
CINDERELLA'S PRINCE - James Marsden
RAPUNZEL PRINCE - Zac Efron? We need the
CINDERELLA - Evan Rachel Wood - she can play more than vamps, y'all
THE BAKER'S WIFE - Amy Adams
THE BAKER - Matt Morrison
THE WITCH - Catherine Zeta-Jones (because, really, it's too obvious to NOT consider) or Charlize...I know she can sing, but can she BELT?

and if we do have a narrator, why not a woman? Vanessa Williams just for kicks.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

WAIT....I love this musical but the more I think of it a MOVIE musical of INTO THE WOODS seems extremely difficult to pull off in Marshall's hands....

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Steve -- you are my new hero. Jon Hamm for the WOLF is a hilarious suggestion. Love it. But can he sing? and also Toni Collette as the Baker's Wife is probably the best casting idea I will hear in all of 2012. Well done.

Andrew -- yeah, it'd be best if they figure out how to do without the narrator. Or at least change it up considerably.

Robin -- CZJ could totally work and I bet Marshall is already thinking about her. But you know he will have EVERY diva of a certain age thrown at him for that role.

January 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

If Sweeney Todd is any indication I wont like anything by Sondheim. Not one of his songs are catchy or memorable. I HATE when they make dialog in songs. Give me catchy songs like Chicago had and only then will I like musicals.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKokolo

I can't believe no one has mentioned Kate Winslet as The Witch. She has a great voice and would be perfect for it. I love Toni Collette and Ewan MacGregor as Baker and his Wife and Robert Downey Jr as Prince/Wolf.

Also, I don't know what his health is like, but Gene Wilder would be a great Mysterious Man. If not, then maybe Robin Williams?

Also, I know Anne Hathaway could be Cinderella, but what about going with someone like Anna Kendrick, also a very strong singer

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwglick

I second the Alison Brie suggestion!

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterremy

I have never seen this on stage but I do love the soundtrack ... if Rob Marshall employs another 'musical numbers are in a dream / fantasy' technique for it he will officially be the most clueless person on the planet. Oh, and for the witch maybe someone like Lady Gaga or Beyonce. You just know its gonna be a massive pop star who has acting aspirations.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

Hmm , maybe Beyonce and Gaga are too young for it...

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

WITCH: CZJ's a great idea, I think Glenn Close could have some great fun with it too even if she's a little older than they'd probably go for. Imelda Staunton's also got the pipes, she played the Baker's Wife in London.

BAKER/BAKER'S WIFE: I feel like it's important that these characters are pushing forty at least. If they're PYTs then the longing and desperation for a child doesn't seem as urgent. Wouldn't Samantha Morton and Jeremy Renner be interesting together? I love the Toni Collette idea too.

CINDERELLA: can Jessica Chastain sing? I just rewatched The Help and she's got Cinderella's range down for sure. Amy Adams is another more obvious choice.

JACK: Can Jaden Smith sing? Maybe Skandar Keynes (Narnia) -- it doesn't matter to me if Jack's a little older, like in his late teens, early 20s. That makes him seem even more helpless.

JACK'S MOTHER: If it's Jaden Smith, it'd be great to see Octavia Spencer here. She's a comic showcase, first played by the great Barbara Bryne. OMG Melissa McCarthy!

LITTLE RED: I've always imagined Kathy Kinney (Mimi from "The Drew Carey Show") as a hilarious choice in this role, but that was long ago when she was young enough to play it. Now: maybe Chloe Moretz? Unlike Jack, I think this character needs to be legitimately younger.

PRINCES: Tom Hardy, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Wilson, Neil Patrick Harris, Jake Gyllenhaal...

NARRATOR: Ian Holm.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMax

Marion Cotillard as the Witch. Love the idea of Toni Collette as the Baker's Wife, although shouldn't she be headlining an eventual movie of Next to Normal?

Hmm Eddie Izzard as the Narrator. Random, but why not.

Hugh Jackman wouldn't be attached unless he were playing the Baker.

I would argue that while, yes, singers who don't have the best singing voices have done wonders with Sondheim's music, you really need someone who can understand the music inside and out. Not just anyone can successfully interpret a Sondheim song, it requires a brilliant actor and very good musician. Everything he writes is so specific, both musically and lyrically. Therefore, no Taylor Swifts, please.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

I can't help but be skeptical of this project, and not just because Rob Marshall is involved. Sondheim musicals are all about nuance and intimacy with the characters, but this musical with its huge cast and fairy tale origins also inspires blockbuster ambitions. Those two-- nuance and blockbuster-- just don't go together anymore. To be a successful musical these days, it seems like you either have to go for big but a little simple (I know I'll get stoned for saying this around these parts, but I'd use Moulin Rouge as an example, which is fast-paced and full of effects but built around pop love songs expressing the simple concept that he loves her) or you have to go nuanced but be okay with a small-scale production (you mention Dancer in the Dark and Hedwig; I'd add in Once). I'm not sure that Into the Woods can easily bridge this divide, and having Rob Marshall at the helm doesn't lessen my worries any.

In my dream cast, everyone would be relative unknowns to the silver screen with excellent voices (if Matthew Morrison can make the Broadway-to-wider-fame transition, so can others), but if we must go with celebrities, I'll dream that they age the Baker and his wife a little and go with Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep. Oh yeah- in my dream, Stanley Tucci can sing.

I also LOVE the Jon Hamm suggestion above for the Wolf. He was hilarious in Bridesmaids.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Kokolo -- when i was watching the film version of Sweeeney Todd i knew many people would feel this way. Without great singers the songs sound weirdly shapeless when they are in fact startling beauties. Listening to the same songs from the broadway cast recording the amount of nuance and emotion and melody that gifted singer/actors can imbue it with... it just makes you realize how desperately musicals need strong voices.

i promise you Sondheim's songs are awesome. They just require awesome voices to reveal them sometimes.

January 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Maybe it's a little typecasting, since he was the Master of Ceremonies AND the Great Wizard in Wicked, but I would love to see Joel Grey having a comeback as the Narrator/Mysterious Man.

And Toni Collette as the Baker's Wife would be perfect!

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWhy not?

Yeah, Kokolo, I was going to say that Sondheim songs are memorable emotionally. Unlike the catchy pop song you hear on the radio, they actually have clear meaning and they'll stay with you for when you need them.

In terms of Sondheim's emotionally raw songs, I think that Sweeney Todd is kinda short on them-- the songs from Follies and A Little Night Music are more likely to tear your heart out with feeling (which, btw, I'd rather have either of those two musicals made into a movie instead of Into the Woods).

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Yes! Totally agree with your comment on Sondheim and great voices Nathaniel. I'm sharing this post on FB for all my theater queen friends..:-)

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel

Can they take a chance and cast Bernadette Peters, if anyone deserves to do Sondheim on film, it's her.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

Ugh...Rob Marshall? Well, there goes Into The Woods. If we are talking about MOVIE actors....so, no Sutton Fosters....
I don't think there is anyone but BERNADETTE PETERS who can play the witch who is old enough but not too old to actually play it....and who is a big enough star for them to cast? CZJ
That being said, Hello....THE WITCH....TONI COLLETTE. CZJ or AMY ADAMS will probably get the part, of those two, I think I'd rather have Adams.
I agree with the post that said EVAN RACHEL WOOD for CINDERELLA or even RAPUNZEL.....but Marchall will never cast her. But, she can sing either, and she would be funny.
Jane Krakowski as the Baker's wife or how about TONI COLLETTE for the BAKER'S WIFE or will ANNE HATHAWAY be old enough for it? They could do alot worse.
What do you think about NEIL PATRICK HARRIS as the BAKER?
I am at a loss for the WOLF/PRINCE....I don't think James Marsden has the animal side to the role....GARRETT HEDLUND?
Since it's Disney, I'm also afraid we could end up with Vanessa Hudgens as Cinderella.....or Selena Gomez. Ugh.
Whatever they do....it will never come close to the original cast...no way possible.
and please, for God's sake....do not let Vanessa Williams near this!

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSBG

Sorry...to clarify....I do think Bernadette is too old for the role now....I just meant, NO ONE will ever be able to own this role like she did. Especially no movie actor they consider famous enough to cast.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSBG

"This holiday season be Italian" is such a weird tagline.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJasper

Why did I post before I read everything? Of course Nathaniel is right....Kristin Chenowith! Although, I will also stand by Toni Collette for the witch too. You don't think she can glam it up?
Hells yeah.

Also.....the Baker and wife do not have to be 40 or pushing it in my opinion....this is a period piece and a 30 or older couple could just as easily been over the hill baby wise....so, I think whoever said
Amy Adams for this might be barking up the right tree.

Adams is definitely too old for Cinderella.
And when I went back and listened to No One Is Alone,....even though I know it by heart, I am even more convinced Evan Rachel Wood should do it. Have to have someone with a beautiful soprano who can act it. Or, as much as I dislike her personally, Emmy Rossum could do it too.

Also....I think they will do the Prince/Wolf! Bullocks if they don't!

I'll shut up for awhile, but this is is my favorite musical ever....so.....

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSBG

Well, having A director is better than having NO director but this is still very sad development news indeed.

And there goes my admitted pipe dream of having Pixar take the wheel and dive into their first musical. This would've made a KILLER project for them and I can't even begin to imagine how the animation would've been.

Also, let me ask the obvious question... how are directors not falling over themselves to adapt Sondheim to the screen? Only, like, 3 of his shows have been adapted so far and the man has quite a few RIPE for cinematic opportunities. *confused*

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark

My choices are kinda going for the obvious...

THE WITCH: Catherine Zeta Jones would be perfect, eh? Kristin Chenoweth is a good idea, as well. In my dreams, Rose McGowan.

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: Lea Michele. Anna Kendrick?

JACK: I always shipped Little Red and Jack together so a big fat NO to Chris Colfer who I'm imagining in my nightmares will win the role. Darren Criss on the other hand...or perhaps Hunter Parrish.

CINDERELLA. *sigh* Anne Hathaway? Amy Adams?

BAKER: Hugh Jackman? Neil Patrick Harris?

BAKER'S WIFE: Toni Collette would be amazing. Or Martha Plimpton.

THE WOLF: Robert Downey, Jr and Jon Hamm are both good ideas.

THE PRINCES: James Marsden in Enchanted was great...let's see him do it again. Agree on Patrick Wilson. Matthew Morrison, I guess? He's more talented than Glee lets him be. Nathan Fillion?

I could never be a casting director.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonathon

This better be a 3 hour epic musical...who the hell am I kidding?

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

The Witch - I would give my left nut to see Bernadette Peters to reprise this, but it'll never happen. She, Golide Hawn and Bette Midler are all "too old". Amy Adams isn't enough of a diva. Anne Hathaway will be over-exposed after Batman and Les Miz. Catherine Zeta-Jones is the obvious choice, although either Michelle Pfeiffer or Kate Winslet would be fun. Can Emily Blunt sing? Actually, Maya Rudolph could be all kinds of amazing in this part. Although I would also be interested to see what Marion Cotillard would do with it. (PS - WHY isn't she in Les Miz?!?! She's a star, she has an Oscar, she can sing, AND SHE'S ACTUALLY FRENCH!)

Little Red Riding Hood - Well I was going to say Amanda Seyfried but that's WAY too obvious (and besides, she'd be a PERFECT Cinderella). What about (God forgive me) Miley Cyrus? Or, if AND ONLY IF she really proves herself in Les Miz, Taylor Swift might be perfect here.

The Wolf - Ewan McGregor. Because his version of Hello Little Girl is forming in my head right now and it is AMAZING. James Marsden would be another good choice, as might Matthew Morrison. Can Michael Fassbender sing? Jon Hamm could work here too. On the other hand, PLEASE LOOK TO BROADWAY and take a chance on Norbert Leo Butz. I'm BEGGING YOU, ROB MARSHALL.

The Baker's Wife - This is my hope to get Bernadette in this. This or Jack's mother. On the more unconventional side (FOR THIS ROLE), what about Kate Hudson? She can sing, and she had such a pathos about her in Almost Famous that she needs to get back and could work here. Marion Cotillard would be a fine choice, too, if perhaps a bit safe. Or Jodi Benson, who had a small part in Enchanted and provided the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. But yes, Toni Collette is pretty much perfect. (PS - Yes she should ABSOLUTELY headlining the film version of Next To Normal)

The Baker - Mandy Patinkin. He's probably too old, but come on. That voice! Patrick Wilson would be good here, too.

Cinderella - If not Amanda Seyfried, here's where I would put Amy Adams. Or, if one must have Anne Hathaway in this movie, this is where she should go.

The Princes - James Marsden (ENCHANTED REUNION!) and Neil Patrick Harris.I would be amenable to Jim Sturgess if he can be made to look suitably dashing and if he took a few vocal lessons (he wasn't bad in Across The Universe, but this is Sondheim). I am at a distinct lack of inspiration at the moment for young(er) actors who can sing well. If Les Miz takes off, Aaron Tveit could do it.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Ugh, can't we just not with the musicals destroyed by film adaptation? Sucks. I think...

The Witch: Not necessary to have a beautiful singer in this role, though it requires someone with versatility (rapping, belting, etc). I think Kristin Chenoweth would be delightful, not only does she actually have pipes, incredible ones at that, but she isn't afraid to sound or look unattractive. Cast her, please.

Cinderella: Amanda Seyfried. Dull role for a dull actress. Who also can sing. Done.

The Baker and Wife: Two best roles in the show in my opinion. I'd love to see Anne Hathaway as the Baker's Wife. She has the PERFECT mixture of zany and beauty to make that role pop the way it did with Joanna Gleason on stage. As for the baker, it would be nice to see someone like Raul Esparza get a meaty role again. And in a film no less! I love his voice, and I think he'd be pretty delightful in the role.

Jack: Ugh, cut this role from the movie. SO boring. Jk, I mean about cutting the role. Jack is my least favorite part of the show however. How about that kid from "Sweeney Todd"?

Jack's Mother: ANNETTE BENNING. PLEASE.

The Two Princes: Jonathan Groff and John Gallagher Jr.. Both young, and attractive. Both good singers. Both did film work. Done and done. Roles are mostly interchangeable anyway.

Red Riding Hood: Chloe Moretz. Duh. Not really a singing role anyway.

Narrator: Hugh Jackman.

Rapunzel: Michelle Williams. I wanna hear her sing some more!!

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin P. Durkin

I don't think I can improve upon the idea of Toni Collette as the Baker's Wife. I'm jealous I didn't think of it. Tom Hiddleston can sing can't he? Then Tom Hiddleston for one of the princes and/or wolf. And I can't shake the image of Chord Overstreet as Jack, though I don't know if he really has the pipes. And since I'm on glee, how about Lea Michele for Little Red Riding Hood? I think she has innocence/sexual precociousness down.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I love Hugh Jackman, but I do get tired of him being the de facto pick for any movie musicals being discussed, so instead. I'd love to see Ewan McGregor paired opposite Patrick Wilson as the two Princes, with Wilson doubling as the Wolf. (Or in a jokey bit of casting, let Wolverine himself - Hugh Jackman - play the Wolf.)

Mery Streep would be a great choice as the Witch (when is she not great?), but she too is always mentioned first. I would prefer to see Glenn Close as the Witch, since she did win a Tony as Best Actress in a Musical for "Sunset Boulevard." Or give Vanessa Williams a plum movie role (she was Tony nominated for this role in the 2002 Broadway revival).

The Baker and the Baker's Wife have to be warm personality and distinctive singers, but not too outwardly handsome or polished. I'd like to see movie underdog John C. Reilly got this plum role, and Jodie Foster return to doing some singing (she sang the title track to the original Freaky Friday in 1976) and has a wonderfully husky alto.

21-year-old Daniel Radcliffe is diminutive enough to play the youngish Jack, and he's proven he can carry a tune with the How to Succeed revival. Since I'm going British for Jack, how about Julie Walters (Harry Potter's Mrs. Weasley) for Jack's Mother?

Abigail Breslin or Elle Fanning as Little Red Riding Hood.
Kathy Bates as Little Red's Grandmother
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rapunzel (great singing voice)
Laura Osnes as Snow White
Jessica Chastain as Cinderella
Catherine O'Hara as Cinderella's Stepmother
Kristen Wiig as Cinderella's stepsister Florinda.
Amy Poehler as CInderella's stepsister Lucinda

This way, the movie appeals to everyone with a couple of Oscar winners, some Tony nominees, stars of film, stage and TV. Rob Marshall, call me!!!!

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Lewis

The problem I always have when people start suggesting names to cast for musicals is that they never think about vocal range or type. Amanda Seyfried is not a soprano and therefor has no business being considered for Cinderella or for her role as Cosette in Les Miserables for that matter. I think this movie is doomed to fail. Marshall just doesn't understand filmmaking and Nathaniel is probably right that the plays structure will make him indulge in his absolute worst instincts. The other problem is that Into the Woods has NO DANCE!!!!!! Sorry Marshall, you won't be able to use your same tired bag of tricks for this one. Oh wait, you probably will anyway. The only saving grace is that James Lapine is writing the script and we might even get to hear a couple new Sondheim tunes. And say what you will about Burton's Sweeney Todd, but at least it had a clear directorial vision and was absolutely stunning in it's crafts. The singing was weak, but the tone and translation were dead on. Burton probably would have made one hell of an Into the Woods.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean

The Witch - I would give my left nut to see Bernadette Peters to reprise this, but it'll never happen. She, Golide Hawn and Bette Midler are all "too old". Amy Adams isn't enough of a diva. Anne Hathaway will be over-exposed after Batman and Les Miz. Catherine Zeta-Jones is the obvious choice, although either Michelle Pfeiffer or Kate Winslet would be fun. Can Emily Blunt sing? Actually, Maya Rudolph could be all kinds of amazing in this part. Although I would also be interested to see what Marion Cotillard would do with it. (PS - WHY isn't she in Les Miz?!?! She's a star, she has an Oscar, she can sing, AND SHE'S ACTUALLY FRENCH!)

Little Red Riding Hood - Well I was going to say Amanda Seyfried but that's WAY too obvious (and besides, she'd be a PERFECT Cinderella). What about (God forgive me) Miley Cyrus? Or, if AND ONLY IF she really proves herself in Les Miz, Taylor Swift might be perfect here.

The Wolf - Ewan McGregor. Because his version of Hello Little Girl is forming in my head right now and it is AMAZING. James Marsden would be another good choice, as might Matthew Morrison. Can Michael Fassbender sing? Jon Hamm could work here too. On the other hand, PLEASE LOOK TO BROADWAY and take a chance on Norbert Leo Butz. I'm BEGGING YOU, ROB MARSHALL.

The Baker's Wife - This is my hope to get Bernadette in this. This or Jack's mother. On the more unconventional side (FOR THIS ROLE), what about Kate Hudson? She can sing, and she had such a pathos about her in Almost Famous that she needs to get back and could work here. Marion Cotillard would be a fine choice, too, if perhaps a bit safe. Or Jodi Benson, who had a small part in Enchanted and provided the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. But yes, Toni Collette is pretty much perfect. (PS - Yes she should ABSOLUTELY headlining the film version of Next To Normal)

The Baker - Mandy Patinkin. He's probably too old, but come on. That voice! Patrick Wilson would be good here, too.

Cinderella - If not Amanda Seyfried, here's where I would put Amy Adams. Or, if one must have Anne Hathaway in this movie, this is where she should go.

The Princes - James Marsden (ENCHANTED REUNION!) and Neil Patrick Harris.I would be amenable to Jim Sturgess if he can be made to look suitably dashing and if he took a few vocal lessons (he wasn't bad in Across The Universe, but this is Sondheim). I am at a distinct lack of inspiration at the moment for young(er) actors who can sing well. If Les Miz takes off, Aaron Tveit could do it.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Oh dear, I apologize profusely for my multiple postings - the world did not need three copies of that rambling nonsense!

*curses technology and those who create it*

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Amanda Seyfried CAN sing soprano. She has a higher Mezzo-Soprano range, and Cinderella is not a difficult sing in the same way that Maria in "West Side Story" is or Christine in "Phantom of the Opera" is. Cosette is the same way in "Les Miserables".

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin P. Durkin

Amanda Seyfried CAN sing soprano. She has a higher Mezzo-Soprano range, and Cinderella is not a difficult sing in the same way that Maria in "West Side Story" is or Christine in "Phantom of the Opera" is. Cosette is the same way in "Les Miserables".

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin P. Durkin

I'm slightly afraid of Rob Marshall, but with the right team behind him I think this could be a great film. I mean, Nine's problem was more the fact that it just doesn't have the right plot trajectory for a movie, not necessarily his direction...but anyway.

THE WITCH: I love the idea of Catherine Zeta Jones. I also think Catherine O'Hara or Meryl Streep would be absolutely fabulous. Then again, Catherine's voice is a little too gentle and Meryl isn't the most amazing singer, but they could definitely pull it off. Too bad Helena Bonham Carter can't sing!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: I think Anna Kendrick would be perfect for this role, but what about Hailee Steinfeld? I feel she has the right kind of naive maturity, if she can sing.

JACK: Somebody mentioned Hunter Parrish and now I can't get that idea out of my head, that's so great.

CINDERELLA. I've always thought Amy Adams would be great but probably too close to her Enchanted role. How about Rose Byrne? I think she's a really underrated actress and I'm pretty sure she can sing.

BAKER: Eeeee. I like the aforementioned Ewan McGregor. Or maybe Casey Affleck? If he can sing.

BAKER'S WIFE: Toni Collette must get this role. It would just be PERFECT for her. I love that idea, and her, so much.

THE WOLF: Props to whoever said Jon Hamm. Love it.

THE PRINCES: All the ideas mentioned above are good, Neil Patrick Harris would nail it!

NARRATOR: I've always envisioned Justin Kirk in this role. I feel he would pull it off perfectly.

This could be really interesting!

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Oh how happy am I that most of you are NOT casting directors. Oy! Except Nat...Kristen Chenowith all the way!

I must address one thing....Amy Adams is about 37? Should she really be considered for Cinderella? I think not.

But what's worse, someone actually suggested that Amanda Seyfried could do Cinderella cause it's a dull role? Kill me now if this has any possibility of happening! The woman is dumb as a post....really, and Cinderella is a genius role, so drole and then one of the best Sondheim songs ever written!

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSBG

Mark: Related to Pixar doing a musical, something weird I'd maybe want to see Pixar do is...an adaptation of Lackadaisy. Yes, I'm sorry, but a major studio adapting something that started as just a webcomic (aside from The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, it's the only non gag-a-day strip to receive a print collection that I know of) is something I haven't really heard being done before and this one seems to be a classic and it's perfect for animation. It might lean a bit more adult, but with things like WALL-E and Up on their resume, Pixar's leaning that way more and more. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch for them to do a prohibition story with cats.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Tom Hulce for the Baker.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Trivia, I just assistant directed this show and did most of the second act. Loved it.

Witch-I like all the Cheno mentions. She could be good. It could be fun to see Amy Adams do this, and take on a completely different role.

Bakers Wife (personally, my favorite part)-Amy Adams or Toni Collette
Baker-Robery Downey Jr? I dunno, its an odd part. It would depend on who they cast as the wife.

Cinderella-Evan Rachel Wood. Beautiful voice, and she could do wonders with the role.

Little Red-Chloe Moretz or Lea Michele

Jack-Daniel Radcliffe (he has a nice voice)

Jack's Mother-Judi Dench or Imelda Staunton

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

@ SBG, so you are a casting director I guess? Yes Cinderella is a dull role. Seyfried would be quite right for it.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Bruen

Peters should be the wicth. That really shouldn't be in question. But if not her, I'm with the early comments suggesting Pfeffier. She'd be marvelous. I'd definitely be up for Seyfried as Rapunzel and Groff as her prince. I think the key casting though is the Baker's Wife. So much turns on her. And I'm not sure. I get the Collette love, but provided she can sing, I'm really intrigued by the Martha Plimpton suggestion. I could see that working well.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

I would completely love Toni Colette as the witch! It is time she gets a Musical role on screen, she's so good at singing while acting... I would watch the movie no matter who gets cast in the other roles if she gets that part, but I doubt Hollywood would think she's famous enough for the role if they have Catherines and Nicoles available.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConrad

Idina Menzel will be The Wtich. Then I will cry.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

@Sarah Haha, that's a good one....except. oops, I am a casting director!

The truth is, Seyfried would definitely be on the list and get the role if she wanted it because she is a star. But, I am too close to this as I love the show, love the music, know it word for word....so, I was speaking as a layman to who I'd like to see get the roles.

Of course Catherine Zeta Jones or Nicole Kidman or Penelope Cruz will be the first names on the wanted list for the Witch. Of course Amanda Seyfried will be the first one on the list with Anne Hathaway for Cinderella. But, I will hate it so.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSBG

As much as I dislike her, whoever mentioned Lady Gaga as the Witch is onto something. My god, I don't know why, but I could totally see her. I have no idea how she is an actress but she definitely has the zany appeal that the Witch has. I know Beyonce is pining for an Oscar but she is all kinds of wrong for this role. She has a beautiful voice but The Witch has so much chutzpah and sly comic humor that I don't think she could pull it off. She's a bit dull onscreen. Zeta-Jones may be the obvious (and frankly, safest) choice for the role so I assume she's at the top of Marshall's casting list.

I like Amy Adam (god, she needs to do another musical. She was wonderful in Enchanted) as The Baker's Wife, but Toni Collette would be wonderful too. Ewan McGregor as The Baker...YES. I like the idea of Amanda Seyfried as Cinderella but after Mamma Mia and the soon-to-be Les Miz, will she want to do another musical? They could hire an unknown for Rapunzel since she's honestly not in it that much (at least not in the stage version).

They need to get someone young (teenager) for Jack. I just won't believe it if you have an actor in their late 20s playing that part.

And you know they will have a place for Meryl in the cast. Maybe Jack's mother? She would be a good Witch, although she may be a bit too old (but she still looks gorgeous!)

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Please do not have any of the Smith children near this project. Catastrophe.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Aaron you speak the truth. No Smith children anywhere.

Ps best line reading in the original comes from Joanna Gleason - "I've never lied to royalty before..."

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

More than casting people who can't sing, I'm worried that Rob Marshall will shoot the film in such a way that anytime The Baker or anyone else is about to sing, we cut to a stage where they perform their song in an empty theater to an audience of no one.

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.