If you’re a huge fan of Into the Woods, you may want to look away because the film adaptation that we’ve been hearing about for months received a big facelift that may not please Broadway fans. Stephen Sondheim, the man behind the Broadway show, attended an event hosted by the Academy for Teachers to discuss with educators the challenges faced in keeping artistic merit and censorship in the classroom.
From the looks of it, Into the Woods faced a lot of censorship due to Disney’s marketing towards children. This means there are a few essential things that are changing to service the film version.
The Stephen Sondheim favorite turned Disney adaptation will not give us everything the stage version showed us. Sondheim himself revealed to Playbill that there are changes and most of it has to do with the material being appropriate for children. It isn’t a huge surprise that Disney had concerns over the material, given the themes that surround the play.
For starters, the film version will not feature the song “Any Moment,” which is sung by The Baker’s Wife and Cinderella’s Prince, played by Emily Blunt and Chris Pine respectively. Sondheim said this song is “probably cut” as is their one night stand.
Everyone who loves Into the Woods knows that the sexually charged Wolf steals the whole show. Fans were pleased that Johnny Depp was cast in this role as the predator of Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford). Well, according to Sondheim, we’re not going to get a sexually charged Wolf. The storyline, along with the song “Hello, Little Girl,” which is ripe with sexual innuendo, was one of Disney’s main objections.
So there’s no infidelity, no sexual abuse, and apparently Rapunzel won’t be killed off. Kevin Gallagher, a teacher who attended had suggested those themes were inappropriate for children. Of this change, Sondheim said, “You know, if I were a Disney executive I probably would say the same thing.”
As far as Sondheim’s thoughts on Disney watering down productions, he said, “Censorship is part of our puritanical ethics, and it’s something that [students are] going to have to deal with.”
“There has to be a point at which you don’t compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won’t get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical.”
Simply put — if you want to make some serious cash you have to give the rights away to the mouse.
Into The Woods is set for a December 25 release.
[Image via Disney]