Stephen Sondheim has never been an easy sell on screen. The Broadway composer’s work is complex and rich in a way that doesn’t easily lend itself to big-screen transitions, and outside of early work like “West Side Story” and “Gypsy,” few of his shows have made it to the big screen — “A Little Night Music” and Tim Burton‘s “Sweeney Todd” being the major exceptions. Given its fairy tale subject matter, “Into the Woods” always seemed like one of the more obvious contenders to make it to the movies, with Steven Spielberg, Sam Mendes and Penny Marshall among the filmmakers who’ve flirted with the idea in the past.
But with fairy tale movies hot, and “Les Misérables” proving a giant hit, now seems like the perfect time for it to happen, and musicals specialist Rob Marshall is currently prepping an adaptation for Disney. While it might be more commercial than, say, “Pacific Overtures,” the material still presents some difficulties in selling to wider audiences, but Marshall seems to be attempting to overcome that by putting together an all-star cast. Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep and Tony-winning British actor James Corden are already on board, and now two more A-listers look to be doing their vocal warm ups, as Heat Vision report that Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal are in talks to join the project.
The two actors — neither of whom have ever sung on screen before now — have apparently met with, and sung for, Marshall, and are expected to get formal offers shortly. The pair will play a pair of egotistical, pompous princes who romance Cinderella (in the case of Gyllenhaal) and Rapunzel (in Pine’s). They’re not huge parts, but the two seem like perfect casting to us, and like Depp (who’ll play the Wolf, a borderline cameo), it’s a sign that Marshall’s planning to stack the ensemble with A-listers, so expect more big names to follow (Corden has the lead role as the Baker, while Streep will play the Witch). Will some of the other names who took part in a reading of the show for Marshall last year (in which Cheyenne Jackson and Patrick Wilson sung the princes), including Anna Kendrick, Nina Arianda and Allison Janney, be among them? While we wait to find out, take a look at “Agony,” the big number that Pine and Gyllenhaal will share, below.