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When most people think of Walt Disney films, they think of two genres: the animated musical and the live-action family film. Beauty and the Beast or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Snow White or Swiss Family Robinson. What’s slightly more rare of late is a blend of the two, the live-action musical, as we’ve seen in films like Mary Poppins, Newsies, Enchanted or The Muppets. These come out much less frequently.

Next year, however, Disney will be releasing two live-action musicals: Muppets Most Wanted and one that’s likely to be their most elaborate and star-studded live action musical to date, Into The Woods.

Directed by Rob Marshall and based on the Tony Award-winning broadway show with music by Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods just began production aimed at a Christmas 2014 release. Below, read the full press release including the list of confirmed cast members, such as Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski and Tracy Ullman. Read More »

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Anna Kendrick

Disney’s just about cast a second Cinderella for their upcoming slate of live-action films. Downton Abbey‘s Lily James is playing the would-be princess in Kenneth Branagh’s film and now Pitch Perfect‘s Anna Kendrick is in talks to play the role in Rob Marshall‘s Into The Woods.

Marshall’s film, set for release Christmas 2014, is based on a Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Several classic fairy-tales are mashed up to tell the story of a family attempting to find a witch and break a curse.

Kendrick joins an already incredible cast that includes Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Tracy Ullman and Christine Baranski. [Variety]

Gyllenhaal Pine

Director Rob Marshall has just cast two princes for his Disney musical Into The Woods. Star Trek‘s Chris Pine and Brokeback Mountain‘s Jake Gyllenhaal are in talks to join an increasingly star-studded cast set for the fairy-tale blending musical. Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp are already attached as the film’s main witch and a sultry wolf, while Pine and Gyllenhall would be Cinderella and Rapunzel’s princes. It’ll mark the first time either has sung on screen. Read More »

Depp Streep

Two titans of Tinseltown could be heading Into The Woods with Oscar-winning director Rob Marshall. Both Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep are in talks to join Disney’s film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim‘s Tony Award winning musical about a baker, his family, and a witch who places a curse on them. From there the characters take a trip through several classic fairy tales like Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood. Think something on the scale of Les Miserables, but with a story like Once Upon A Time.

Streep is in talks to play the witch and Depp’s role is still a mystery, but it would likely be the baker or the narrator. Filming could start in early 2014, which raises some serious questions about the status of Pirates of the Caribbean 5. We’ll discuss below. Read More »

Warner Bros. has been treading carefully with movie budgets lately, pumping the breaks on expensive projects like Arthur & Lancelot and Akira when their costs ballooned out of control. Now it looks like latest project to come under scrutiny from the numbers department is The Thin Man, Johnny Depp and Rob Marshall‘s adaptation of the Dashiell Hammet classic.

Although the film’s been on track to shoot this November, Warner Bros. has just put the film on hiatus. While the studio hasn’t officially commented on its reasons, it seems to boil down to a combination of high costs and bad timing. Read more after the jump.

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Johnny Depp and Rob Marshall are working to make a new version of The Thin Man, the Dashiell Hammett novel about drunk detective socialite Nick Charles, his charming young wife Nora and the unusual family mystery in which they become embroiled.

The question is: who plays Nora? Deadline says there is a shortlist that will begin to meet with Warner Bros. next week. Names on the list include Eva Green, Amy Adams, Emma Stone, Carey Mulligan, Rachel Weisz, Kristen Wiig, Emily Blunt and Isla Fisher. That is, just about every smart actress with free time in her schedule and an interest in starring opposite one of the few semi-legit movie stars in the business. And without knowing more about what Marshall, Depp and WB are specifically looking for, it seems pointless to try to play the guessing game based on a list that long.

The original The Thin Man, released in 1934, spawned a series of comic detective films and, later, even a TV show, and that precedent is fueling fire that the material might become a hit once again.

After the break, Albert Hughes’ film Motor City might finally have a lead, and Hal Holbrook joins Gus Van Sant’s new film Promised Land. Read More »

A script for Pirates of the Caribbean 5 was completed before Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides even hit theaters. That film then was hammered critically and producer Jerry Bruckheimer called for rewrites on the fifth film, saying the script wasn’t good enough. It seemed like people were calling for director Rob Marshall‘s head, too.

Now Marshall is the one offering an update on the fifth film, suggesting he’ll be the one who eventually directs it. Read the quote below. Read More »

Rob Marshall made his feature filmmaking debut in 2002 with the Broadway adaptation Chicago, and earned a Best Picture Oscar and a Best Director nomination for his trouble. However, his second big-screen musical, 2009′s Nine, didn’t fare quite as well, receiving mixed reviews and tanking at the box office. So here’s hoping his next attempt at a movie musical, an adaptation of Into the Woods for Disney, turns out more like the former than the latter. The new film is one of two Marshall is considering for his next feature, the other being Warner Bros.’ The Thin Man remake with Johnny Depp.

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine‘s Broadway classic seems to fall in with the current fairy tale craze, weaving together several Grimm Brothers fairy tales including Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel to tell the story of a baker and a wife who want to start a family. More details after the jump.

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