The Into the Woods Movie Looks Enchanting

Slate's Culture Blog
July 31 2014 1:50 PM

The Into the Woods Movie Looks Enchanting

James Corden (the Baker) and Meryl Streep (the Witch) in Into the Woods.

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Like many recent stage-to-screen musical adaptations, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods has taken many years—decades, in fact—to make it to the big screen. The beloved show, which weaves together the personal wishes and journeys of well-known Grimm’s fairy tale characters, has been professionally staged many times since making its Broadway debut in 1987. But only over the last couple of years has the movie adaptation become a reality, with Rob Marshall (Chicago) at the helm.

The teaser is finally here, and aims to enchant the audience with its impressive cast and stunning, dark visuals. Anna Kendrick appears as Cinderella with Chris Pine as her Prince, alongside Meryl Streep as the Witch and Emily Blunt as the Baker’s Wife.


But the trailer also employs a bit of mystery as well: Johnny Depp, who plays the Wolf, is curiously obscured, with only his giant claw visible as he creeps behind a tree. And should you have only a passing knowledge of musical theater, you may walk away from it not realizing the film is supposed to be a musical—which is perhaps by design. With the exception of the show’s oft-repeated lyrical motif, “I wish …” there’s little actual singing and dancing.

Still, it’s hard not to be caught up in Sondheim’s music, and with a cast like this, it seems sure to attract an enthusiastic audience—and possibly, even, critical acclaim. Into the Woods opens on Christmas Day.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.