We already knew there would be some big changes to “Into the Woods,” Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical turned big screen Disney film. For starters the original show wasn’t steeped in stardom—Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick AND Meryl Streep are all in the upcoming movie, slated for December. But this week, Stephen Sondheim, patron saint of theater kids everywhere, announced some more surprising updates to his original production.
Die-hard theater fans, brace yourselves: In a story in this week’s New Yorker, he revealed that the dark and twisted musical about all your favorite fairy tale characters is going to be a little less dark and twisted. In the new version, there will be no tryst between the baker’s wife and the prince, no creepy leering wolf, and no tragic ending for Rapunzel.
We can accept a little Disneyfication if it means bringing one of our favorite musicals to the big screen, but we have to put our foot down on some things. Here are some musical numbers and plot twists that need to stay true to the original version:
1. The less than honorable princes
Into the Woods is all about the lack of a perfect fairy tale ending IRL, and a big part of that are the princes who seem charming but are actually going after any old girl locked in a tower even if they’ve got princesses at home.
2. The musical number, “I Know Things Now”
A lack of “Hello, Little Girl” might upset diehard fans, but everyone else breathed a sigh of relief that Johnny Depp wouldn’t be creeping on a pre-teen girl through the song. And while “I Know Things Now” is a kind of companion song, it can stand on its own as an important solo for Little Red.
3. The “Mysterious Man”
Right now IMDB has no listing for a mysterious man, but maybe that’s simply to make him seem more mysterious? An important reveal in a show without too many surprises, he also serves as a source of conflict for the baker.
4. Milky White, the cow
Producers, he’s the best cow! While Hollywood might lean towards a real, or at least CGI bovine, I kind of hope they’ll go with the stage ready statue.
5. Rapunzel’s struggles
Though we already know the girl with the long, long hair will live through the show, that doesn’t mean she can’t deal with “walking around the desert, blind, with twins.”
6. The incredible song, “Giants in the Sky”
It’s a big, powerhouse of a song for such a young actor, but Daniel Huttlestone proved himself a capable actor and singer as Gavroche in the film adaptation Les Miserables.
7. The amazing solo number, “On the Steps of the Palace”
Because Anna Kendrick needs her big solo while we all wait impatiently for the Pitch Perfect sequel.
8. The witch’s big transformation
From scary witch to Miranda Priestly in under ten minutes—this will be a moment where a little movie magic should make the scene even better.