Walt Disney Pictures
In the new trailer for Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, all is rightly in place. Emily Blunt is beautiful and kind, Chris Pine is a charming prince, Meryl Streep is an absolutely flawless being with supernatural powers, Johnny Depp is exercising his passion for fashion and Anna Kendrick is Anna Kendrick.
In order to master a Disney adaptation of this beloved Sondheim musical before the theatre kids angrily descend from the catwalks, sound booths, trap doors, costume labs, right and left wings and that part of the stage where they think nobody in the audience can see them (I’ve done a lot of tech theatre; I know all the good backstage hangouts), a few things need to be nailed down in the trailer.
They have to hit that title song, and as those first few “I wish!” moments ring out in the terrible, terrible woods, it’s clear that this isn’t going to be a problem. Nice sell, Jack and Little Red. Now the next thing that must work is that The Witch needs to be fearsome, worthy of respect and able to pull off being both fabulous and draped in grey rags at the same time. You guys ever heard of this Meryl Streep? Needless to say, The Witch is everything she needs to be and more, if this trailer is any indication of what’s to come for the rest of the film.
She’s terrifying, regal and tender in the moments she shares with Rapunzel. And there’s confirmation that yes, Streep is good at everything; she can sing like an angel and that’s probably why everyone in the trailer is crying, not because their lives are awful and The Witch has bestowed hardship upon all aspects of their lives. A cow as white as milk? A cape as red as blood? The hair as yellow as corn? The slipper as pure as gold? Oh, totally doable, this isn’t unraveling The Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Blunt) and making them con little children out of their worldly possessions.
What we still haven’t seen, and we will all have to wait with bated breath to experience, is Streep rapping. Because Into the Woods is the Sondheim show where a witch breaks it down about vegetables, greens, beans and kidnapping – and with the film promised to be true to the original, it will definitely be included. This should be worth the price of admission in itself. And look at her; you know she’s going to do it like a champ.
The third must for the trailer is a healthy dose of The Wolf, and though we see plenty of Depp, the jury’s still out on whether or not he’s actually a wolf or a 40’s businessman with a fancy fur vest and a very dastardly mustache. Though we’ve seen Depp’s costume in the promotional images for the film, this is the first look at it in action, and it falls flat. Though this is a film that intersects Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Bean Stalk and a vindictive witch under the Disney banner, having a whimsical suit-wearing wolf-guy as a menacing predator just still looks out of place.
Though the shot of Little Red wearing the fur pelt in place of her cape – she’s the MVP of this entire endeavor. Check out the trailer below:
Into the Woods is in theaters December 25th.