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Trivia / Into the Woods

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Theatre

  • Acting for Two:
    • According to Original Cast Precedent, the Narrator and the Mysterious Man are played by the same actor. Same goes for Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf, as well as Cinderella's Mother and the Giantess and Granny. Usually played in an And You Were There fashion, at least for the first two actors.
    • In the Broadway revival, Cinderella's Mother was played by a recording of Cinderella's own actress.
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    • In the Central Park production, the Narrator was changed to a young boy so instead the Mysterious Man doubled as Cinderella's Father (played by Chip Zien, the original Baker, in a nice Remake Cameo). And they got Glenn Close to lend her (prerecorded) voice as the Giantess.
  • Cut Song: "Giants in the Sky", "On the Steps of the Palace", and "Last Midnight" were all replacements for less appropriate songs written earlier. There was also a song called "The Plan" that was cut. However, the initial versions of those songs are included on the original soundtrack; the prototype of "Giants In The Sky" is notable for being so fast-paced that it's nearly unsingable.

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2014 Film

  • Actor-Inspired Element: When Johnny Depp was cast as the Big Bad Wolf, he suggested that the character be designed like the wolf in Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood.
  • All-Star Cast: The film features Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, and much more, along with Broadway players Christine Baranski, Mackenzie Mauzy, Lilla Crawford, and Billy Magnusson. Talk show host Ellen Degeneres pokes fun at the film's star studded cast by creating her own trailer for the film, which lists a comical assortment of celebrities as members of the cast.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy:
    • Both Chris Pine and James Corden have admitted that the entire reason they pursued parts in the film (as Cinderella's Prince and the Baker, respectively) is because they heard that Meryl Streep was playing The Witch From Next Door.
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    • Streep herself had consistently refused to portray witches in film for a long time, but made an exception for this film because she wanted to be in a Stephen Sondheim musical.
  • The Cast Show Off: Meryl Streep sang all her songs live on set, despite having also pre-recorded them.
  • Completely Different Title: "The Fairytale Woods/Forest" in Vietnamese, to the chagrin of parents expecting typical Disney fare.
  • Cut Song:
    • "I Guess This Is Goodbye", "Maybe They're Magic", "Our Little World", "First Midnight", "Second Midnight", "Ever After", "So Happy", "Agony (Reprise)", "No More". Interestingly enough, several cut songs appear in the scenes as background music where the songs were. Listen to the music as the Baker mourns his wife's passing and you'll hear "No More". "Ever After" is the march played as the first "act" ends at Cinderella's wedding, and it transitions into a snippet of "So Happy." Technically, "Cinderella At The Grave" is not cut, but only the mother's part remains (although the "shiver and quiver little tree" melody is heard as Cinderella's dress and slippers appear on her. Its short reprise (where the ghost and birds warn the prince about the slipper) is also cut; the Steward simply notices the blood when assisting Florinda, and Lucinda exposes herself by being completely unable to walk. The melody of "this is the proper bride for you" does return when the prince puts the slipper on Cinderella's foot.
    • Also, the film originally had two new songs, "Rainbows" for the Baker and his wife and "She'll Be Back" for the Witch. Both were cut out of the final film.
    • A few of the songs were also rewritten. "On The Steps of the Palace" is now primarily in the first person instead of the second, while "Your Fault" is noticeably slower, most likely because the actors couldn't keep up with the pace of the original.
      • A more likely explanation for the adjusted tempo of "Your Fault" (and other tongue-twister lyrics, like the "Witch's Rap") is that filmmakers thought the wider movie audience would have more difficulty following such fast-paced songs than a theater audience did.
  • The Danza: Lucinda is played by Lucy Punch.
  • Dawson Casting: Averted - where Red Riding Hood and Jack are portrayed by younger adults in the stage versions, they're played by actual children in the movie.
  • Dueling Movies: With Cinderella (2015). In a rare case, two fantasy films released by the same studio (Disney) within a span of 4 months will feature Cinderella as one of the central characters.
  • Fatal Method Acting: A near-miss. Meryl Streep tripped on her dress while filming the Witch's rap, and fell headfirst towards the concrete floor. James Corden recalls being frozen alongside Rob Marshall, convinced that they were about to see the death of Meryl Streep. Emily Bluntwho was five months pregnant at the time, mind you—swooped in and caught her.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Emily Blunt was around 4-6 months pregnant throughout the shoot, so there were many scenes of her lower section being hidden. Amazingly, Blunt's face doesn't look as full as most pregnant women's faces are, so it was hard to tell if she was at all.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Emily Blunt plays a character whose infertility is a plot point. She was pregnant throughout filming. Two years later, she would repeat the irony with her second pregnancy - in The Girl on the Train.
  • The Other Marty: YouTube star Sophie Grace Brownlee of Sophie Grace and Rosie was originally cast as Red Riding Hood, but was replaced with Lilla Crawford when it was decided Brownlee was too young.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Most of the cast and crew signed on because they enjoyed the musical the film was based on. James Corden has stated that he always wanted to play the Baker in a West End version.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Simon Russell Beale was a good choice to play James Corden's father.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Jake Gyllenhaal was originally cast as Cinderella's Prince, but chose to drop out to do Nightcrawler instead.
    • Director Rob Marshall had considered Catherine Zeta-Jones, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman (whom he had previously worked with), Michelle Pfeiffer, Donna Murphy, Idina Menzel, Miranda Richardson (the last four whom have portrayed witches before), Sissy Spacek and Kate Winslet for the Witch before settling on Meryl Streep.
    • Emma Stone was Rob Marshall's first choice for the role of Cinderella but she turned it down, feeling that she didn't have the vocal range. She joked that she'd be better suited to playing Jack instead.
    • An early draft of the script contains several elements that were altered (or never used) in the final film, such as...
      • The depiction of the Wolf as a sexy, hairy chested man. He also briefly transformed into a real wolf right before he howled during "Hello Little Girl".
      • The fate of the Witch. Rather than being swallowed up by a sinkhole, she is pulled into the ground by the arms of her mother, much like the outdoor productions.
      • The fate of Jack's mother. In the early draft, she is bludgeoned by the Steward as in the stage show, but she manages to get back onto her feet and temporarily help the Baker and his wife find Jack. She eventually succumbs to her head injury, and the Baker comes across her dead body in the woods. This explains how he had found out about her death prior to telling Jack during "No One is Alone".
      • The original finale. In the draft, all of the characters appeared at the end to sing "Children Will Listen", much like the original show. Afterwards, everyone would "disappear" (sans the Baker, Cinderella, Jack, and Little Red), and the rest of the song (a reprise of the title song) would be sung as a voice over. In the final film, the entirety of "Children Will Listen" (after the Baker's Wife's solo) is sung by the Witch and the chorus off screen, and the "Into the Woods" reprise is played over the end credits.
      • The scene where the Baker cuts open the Wolf and saves Little Red and Granny. The scene was originally portrayed as a "shadow play"; all of the action would be seen as a silhouette over the bed drapes (the scene also contained the full conversation between Granny, Little Red, and the Baker from the show). The final film cuts away before the Baker brings down his knife on the Wolf, and the entire conversation is greatly shortened.
    • Ironically, it wasn't even originally intended to be a Disney movie. The film was once planned in 1994 with a table reading at Penny Marshall's house from the likes of Robin Williams, Goldie Hawn and Cher. Subsequently, it was in development at Columbia Pictures and had Rob Minkoff attached as director and Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Susan Sarandon in talks to star.
    • Matthew Broderick, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Colin Firth, Neil Patrick Harris, Denis O'Hare and John C. Reilly were considered for the Baker.
    • Alan Cumming was considered to play The Wolf.
    • Tina Fey auditioned for the role of the Baker's Wife.
    • Kathy Bates and Allison Jane were talks to play Jack's Mother.
    • In earlier drafts, the essential Narrator character from the original stage musical was still part of the story. Before the role was written out of the script, many actors were either considered, in talks, or asked to play the role including Michael Caine, John Cleese, Michael Gambon, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Christopher Plummer, Alan Rickman and Geoffrey Rush. There were even rumors about giving this role to a female, such as Julie Andrews or Angela Lansbury.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Emily Blunt and James Corden gave the Baker and his wife the names 'Geoff' and 'Margery' on set.
  • Word of God: Sondheim tried to convince Disney executives to have Rapunzel killed off in the movie and follow the musical's continuity. However, the executives refused, so original stage writer and film screenwriter James Lapine then rewrote the fate of Rapunzel and toned down darker aspects of her character, and a new song "She'll Be Back" was written for the Witch to sing after Rapunzel leaves with her Prince (it was later cut and will be on the Blu-ray release).

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