There’s an awful lot of ‘star-studded casts’ nowadays. If one major celebrity signs on to a film, every other major celebrity seems to try to get in on the action. Case in point: the ever-increasing cast list attached to Disney’s version of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into The Woods, to be directed by Rob Marshall. Now Tracey Ullman is in talks to join up.
Ullman is apparently in negotiations to join the Into The Woods cast that already includes Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal and Emily Blunt. Right now, Blunt is signed on to play half of a childless couple who go into the woods to find the witch (Meryl Streep, naturally) who has cursed their family. They meet various forms of fairy tale characters along the way, including the Big Bad Wolf (Depp), the princely boyfriends of Cinderella and Rapunzel (Gyllenhaal and Pine), and, if she signs on, Tracey Ullman as the mother of Jack the Giant Killer.
Ullman has been absent from the big screen for about five years now, her last notable being as a voice actor in The Tale Of Despereaux. She’s always been a presence on TV, in both the HBO show State Of The Union and the British series Mumbai Calling about a call centre in Mumbai. Into The Woods would mark a return to semi-fairy tale land as well – remember Ullman in Robin Hood: Men In Tights? That was fun.
I have to say that these big cast films make me a little nervous. Some of them work really well – a little film called The Avengers – while others seem to be a case of too many cooks. This seems especially true of re-tellings or re-imaginings of classic stories. We’ve had Alice In Wonderland and Oz: The Great And Powerful, both with large casts and neither one of them something to write home about. All those big stars often get lost in poor script or poorer directing. Still, Into The Woods might be the exception. It’s certainly got quite a lot of star power.
What do you think of the prospect of Ullman joining Into The Woods? Let us know in the comments.