Posted on Friday, August 15th, 2014 by Angie Han
Recently, we’ve had word that Disney’s adaptation of Into the Woods would differ from the original in a number of ways. Most of the changes didn’t sound too promising, but one we were actually looking forward to was a new song, penned by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine for the movie.
Well, it turns out that’s not happening anymore. In a new interview, Rob Marshall confirmed that the tune had been cut from the film. If it’s any consolation, though, Marshall also clarifies that reports of some of the other changes were exaggerated. Get the details after the jump.
Marshall briefly explained his decision to cut Sondheim and Lapine’s new song, which they’d written specifically for Streep. “It was beautiful and spectacular,” he said, “but it was very clear, as good as the song was, that [the movie] was stronger without.”
It does not appear that Streep was the issue, as Marshall had nothing but nice things to say about her. “I don’t think people will be remotely ready to hear her sing this material,” he said. “The power from her is off the charts.”
More concerning were the reports that Disney had toned down Into the Woods quite a bit, cutting out much of the stuff involving sex and death. However, Marshall confirmed that “all of those things are in the film,” including the fan-favorite tune “Any Moment,” and insisted that his version was “incredibly faithful to the original.”
And while Marshall admitted (spoiler alert!) that the specifics of Rapunzel’s fate have changed, he stressed, it’s “still pretty dark, it’s just a different kind of dark, and it’s just as harrowing, and just as sad.”
It’s a very grown-up piece in many ways, and there’s a lot of entertainment and a lot of fun to it, but it doesn’t shy away from any of those adult themes at all.
We built this thing using the best parts of Into the Woods, which is so much of it. So much of it is there and make it work on film. It’ll all be very clear when people see it. They’ll understand, it’s all there.
Of course, Marshall has to say that. No director is going to admit that he and/or the studio have made massive changes to source material that has a devoted following, lest the fans get cranky.
It wouldn’t be all that surprising if Disney did water down Into the Woods, which isn’t quite as sweet and innocent as the Disney versions of these fairy tales. But for now, all we can do is wait and see. Into the Woods opens December 25.