Father of Sophia Grace Brownlee Comments on Daughter's Departure from Into the Woods Film

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and Michael Gioia
18 Sep 2013

Sophia Grace Brownlee
Sophia Grace Brownlee

The father of Sophia Grace Brownlee, the young actress initially announced to portray Little Red Riding Hood in the film adaptation of "Into the Woods," has commented on his daughter's departure from the film via Twitter.

Disney, which is producing the starry film adaptation, confirmed the complete cast for "Into the Woods" Sept. 16. It was revealed that Lilla Crawford, who created the title role in the current Broadway revival of Annie, would play Little Red Riding Hood. Brownlee, who gained notoriety for her performances on "The Ellen Degeneres Show," had previously been cast in the role.

Representatives for Brownlee, who had earlier confirmed her casting in the film, did not respond to Playbill.com's requeset for comment. 

Dominic Brownlee, Sophia's father, Tweeted, "After careful consideration we the parents of Sophia Grace felt that as rehearsals progressed that she was too young for this part." He continued, "It was a joint decision between us and the director and producer of 'Into the woods' to withdraw Sophia Grace from the film."

According to Disney, production on the film began last week, featuring an award-winning production team led by Rob Marshall ("Chicago," Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"), who helms the film, based on the Tony-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides music and lyrics — including an all-new song for the big-screen adaptation.

"Into the Woods" is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, Wicked producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall. Shooting in studio and on location throughout England, the film is slated for a Dec. 25, 2014, holiday release.

The cast includes Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady," "The Devil Wears Prada," "August: Osage County") 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, 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, and Sondheim has penned an all-new song for the story's theatrical debut.

The production team includes Dion Beebe as director of photography, Dennis Gassner as production designer and Colleen Atwood as costume designer.

Into the Woods premiered on Broadway Nov. 5, 1987, at the Martin Beck Theatre. The production, which ran for 764 performances, won Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Book and Best Actress in a Musical.