According to an interview in Entertainment Weekly's film preview issue, the new song penned for The Witch (Streep) for the eagerly awaited adaptation of the Sondheim-James Lapine musical did not make it to the final cut.
In November 2013 Streep revealed the news of the new song during interviews for the film of Tracy Letts' "August: Osage County" with Extra TV. "I have a new song that [Stephen] Sondheim wrote for me," Streep said with a laugh, adding, "He gave me the manuscript of it and wrote, 'Don't f*ck it up!'"
Although audiences won't hear this new tune, director Rob Marshall had nothing but praise for Streep's vocal abilities. "I don't think people will be remotely ready to hear her sing this material.… The power from her is off the charts," Marshall said.
Despite some changes to the original script, Marshall said the film is "incredibly faithful to the original."
Read Sondheim's statement in response to reported changes in the film here. "Into the Woods," which is scheduled to hit theatres Dec. 25, also features Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp and Emily Blunt.
The cast includes Meryl Streep ("The Devil Wears Prada," "The Iron Lady") as the Witch, Emily Blunt ("Looper," "The Young Victoria," "The Devil Wears Prada") as the Baker's Wife, James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors) as the Baker, Anna Kendrick ("Pitch Perfect," "Up in the Air") as Cinderella, Chris Pine ("Star Trek Into Darkness," "Jack Ryan") as Cinderella's Prince, Johnny Depp ("Pirates of the Caribbean," "The Lone Ranger," "Sweeney Todd") as the Wolf, Daniel Huttlestone ("Les Misérables") as Jack, Lilla Crawford (Annie) as Little Red, Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother, Christine Baranski ("Mamma Mia!," "The Good Wife") as the Stepmother, MacKenzie Mauzy (Next to Normal) as Rapunzel and Billy Magnussen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) as Rapunzel's Prince.
Rounding out the cast are Tammy Blanchard (How to Succeed…) and Lucy Punch ("Bad Teacher," "Dinner for Schmucks") as Cinderella's stepsisters, Florinda and Lucinda, respectively; Richard Glover ("Sightseers," "St. Trinian's") as the Steward; Frances de la Tour ("Hugo," "Alice In Wonderland") as the Giant; Simon Russell Beale ("The Deep Blue Sea") as the Baker's father; Joanna Riding ("My Fair Lady") as Cinderella's mother; and Annette Crosbie ("Calendar Girls," "The Slipper and the Rose") as Little Red Riding Hood's granny.
"Into the Woods," according to press notes, "is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them."
The big-screen adaptation welcomes songs from the stage musical, including "Children Will Listen," "Giants in the Sky," "On the Steps of the Palace," "No One Is Alone" and "Agony," among others.
The production team includes Dion Beebe as director of photography, Dennis Gassner as production designer and Colleen Atwood as costume designer.
Watch the trailer below: