This week’s movie musical news: ‘Into the woods’, ‘Jersey boys’ and more

According to Collider, an original musical film might be headed our way penned by Bret McKenzie, writer of TV film Flight of the Conchords: a Texan Odyssey and the short-film Bret and Jemaine’s Announcement. The actor, singer and even composer, is planning on creating a fairy tale musical comedy alongside James Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted).


Meanwhile, numerous adaptations will be cramming the big screen very soon, and some casting announcements have been made this past couple of weeks.



Into the Woods has finally found its Little Red Riding Hood in none other than internet sensation Sophia Grace Brownlee. Her uncle, Lucas Brownlee, broke the news via twitter stating “Its official, @PrincessSGB has landed the part of little red riding hood in the disney movie in to the wood[s]”.

The news has surprised many, especially given the musical’s sexual subtext underlying in the relationship between Little Red Riding Hood and The Wolf –played in the movie by Johnny Depp. Concerns seem to be valid, since on stage the role has been traditionally played by teenagers whilst Sophia Grace is only ten years old. Esther Zuckerman fears Disney’s choice indicates a process of watering down the original material: “Sondheim’s tricky, melancholy, gorgeous musical may have a fairy tale veneer, but once you hit the second act you realize it’s mostly a dark, sad show about bad choices. If this latest bit of cutesy casting is any indication, those themes are going to be lost in the movie”.

Another troublesome aspect is Brownlee’s voice and pop persona. Will she be able to pull off a believable Red? Is she capable of belting Sondheim’s intricate music?


 Red’s character was originated by Danielle Ferland, and played by Molly Ephraim in the 2002 revival.   


Another casting confirmation was that of Daniel Huttlestone as Jack. Huttlestone even proceeded to post pictures of the first day of rehearsals.



Clint Eastwood’s take on Jersey Boys has also some casting news to celebrate, with Johnny Cannizzaro (The Muppets, Spin) joining the film as Nick DeVito, Mike Doyle (P.S. I love you, Green Lantern) playing Bob Crewe, and Erich Bergen officially reprising his role as Bob Gaudio in the feature film.



Some other stage-to-screen adaptations seemingly closer to materialize are the dark, puppet-driven Avenue Q, and the 2013 Tony winner Pippin, with produced Kevin McCollum (Jeffrey, Rent) considering taking the former to the big screen, and James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The spectacular now) already working on the screenplay for the latter.



Lastly, we conclude this movie musical news bulletin with the latest pic from Disney’s upcoming animated musical Frozen.


V. Wonka


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