Exclusive: Rob Marshall Talks Follies Film, Meryl Streep and Broadway Return

News   Exclusive: Rob Marshall Talks Follies Film, Meryl Streep and Broadway Return "Into the Woods" director Rob Marshall speaks with Playbill.com about another Sondheim musical he would consider bringing to the screen, his leading lady Meryl Streep and the possibility of a Broadway return.

The award-winning director of "Chicago," "Nine" and Disney's blockbuster "Into the Woods" confirmed that the Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman musical Follies, which centers around a haunting reunion of onetime performers in a Ziegfeld Follies type revue, is among the projects he is considering adapting for film.

"It's something I've always been passionate about," Marshall said of the legendary 1971 Broadway musical. "It's a tricky one to bring to film. But it's something that I am exploring, only because it's exciting to consider. There's something very cinematic about the piece because of the moving back and forth between the memory and the reality of the present. It's a complicated musical, because it's sort of plotless in a way. It's highly conceptual and tricky to make work. But it's one I've always been seduced by. Hopefully...."

Meryl Streep and Rob Marshall
Meryl Streep and Rob Marshall Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Walt Disney/AP Images

While previous reports indicated that Streep, who played the Witch in Marshall's "Into the Woods," had been approached about Follies, the director said that no official talks had taken place.

"Listen," Marshall laughed, "Let me put it this way. I would do anything with Meryl Streep again. We haven't spoken about anything specifically. But I would do anything with her again because there's no one like her. She's a master."

According to Marshall, Streep's work ethic set the tone for the filming of "Into the Woods." "Our first day of rehearsal she was completely off-book and threw herself into it," Marshall said. "We did her opening, the Witch's rap, and she threw herself into that 100 percent the first day, off-book, trying everything. It was thrilling. And everybody thought, 'Oh my God... Here we go!' She loves the work, and that was a big deal for a lot of the younger actors just to see that, to be reminded that that's what it's all about – loving the work." Marshall also said he's actively pursuing upcoming musical projects on stage and screen. "I'm actually looking right now," he said of his next movie musical. "It's complicated. It's not like there's millions that work on film, and it's not like there are millions that need to be remade. I've been very lucky that the three musica's I've made weren't remakes."

While he stopped at naming which titles might be one his wishlist for a remake, he added, "There are some that could maybe be looked at again... but you don't want to touch the great ones either. I'm passionate about the continuation of film musicals. It's something that I feel is such an important genre and one that I kind of feel that I'm a champion for and something that I will continue to do in my life."

A Broadway return may also be on the horizon for the director-choreographer. "I'm actually looking for something and I have a couple things that are possible," he hinted. "It would be nice to do theatre again. I did a little bit again with the Cabaret revival, we did some re-imagining of it. But it would be fun to be back in the theatre."

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