Streep's potential casting was revealed in a recent interview with Connecticut's Litchfield County Times. Composer-arranger David Krane (Road to Qatar), who penned the arrangements for Marshall's film adaptations of Chicago and Nine, stated that he is working on arrangements for the Into the Woods film adaptation, in which Streep will star as the Witch.
Krane first worked with Streep as the conductor of the 1977 revival of the Kurt Weill-Bertolt Brecht musical Happy End.
Playbill.com contacted Tony-winning Into the Woods composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who stated that he had not been informed of any confirmed casting for the film at this time.
A timeline for production on the film, which will be produced by Disney, has not been announced. Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Into the Woods book writer James Lapine authored the screenplay based on his own book for the 1988 musical. During an October reading of the screenplay, Lapine had streamlined the musical into a two-hour film.
John DeLuca, who also produced Marshall's screen adaptations of "Nine" and "Chicago," is working on the film. The cast of the October reading included Tony Award winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur) as the Baker's Wife, Tony winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) as Cinderella's Mother/Granny/Giant, Tony Award winner James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors) as the Baker and Tony Award winner Donna Murphy as the Witch. Murphy, a veteran of Sondheim's Passion, recently played the Witch in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods.
The cast also included Christine Baranski (Boeing Boeing) as Cinderella's Stepmother, Tammy Blanchard (How to Succeed...) as Florinda, Ivan Hernandez (SITP Into the Woods) as the Wolf, Megan Hilty ("Smash") as Lucinda, Cheyenne Jackson (The Performers) as Rapunzel's Prince, Allison Janney (9 to 5) as Jack's Mother, Anna Kendrick (High Society) as Cinderella, Michael McGrath (Nice Work...) as Steward/Baker's Father, Laura Osnes (Cinderella) as Rapunzel, Taylor Trensch (Wicked) as Jack, Casey Whyland (Billy Elliot) as Little Red Riding Hood and Patrick Wilson (Oklahoma!) as Cinderella's Prince. David Garrison (Titanic) served as the screenplay narrator.
Into the Woods features a Tony-winning score by Sondheim and Tony-winning book by Lapine, who also staged both Broadway productions of the musical. Into the Woods premiered on Broadway in 1987 at the Martin Beck Theatre starring Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien, Joanna Gleason, Kim Crosby and Robert Westenberg. The original cast performance was preserved by PBS' American Playhouse in 1991. A 2002 Broadway revival played the Broadhurst Theatre.