For musical theater geeks like me, the initial Into the Woods teaser released over the summer was more scary than exciting. In a possibly shrewd and not-so-subtle marketing maneuver, Disney removed any hint that the adaptation of the classic Stephen Sondheim stage musical is, in fact, a musical. Aside from the swelling orchestral arrangement of the Witch’s pleading “Stay With Me,” there was hardly any singing to be heard.
It seemed like more evidence that, despite the acclaimed “live singing” accomplishments of Les Misérables and the stunning success of Frozen, the movie musical is still considered a risk in today’s market, and that a “renaissance” is far from actually happening. Thankfully, the first full trailer for Into the Woods pulls back the curtain and shows the movie for what it really is: There’s a lot more singing, a wee bit more explanation of how all of these fairy tales are connected, and Johnny Depp’s face (and not just his ominous claw; he plays the Wolf).
It’s enough to tilt my expectations: I’m now somewhere between excited and scared. With a great cast and what looks to be a faithfully dark adaptation, I’m looking forward to seeing it on the big screen Christmas Day—singing and all.