No, this is not a dream cast: Meryl Streep may be taking on the role of the Witch in Rob Marshall's upcoming film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical Into The Woods. Composer-arranger David Krane, who has worked with Marshall several times in the past, arranging the music for both Nine and Chicago, has signed on to do the arrangements for Marshall's latest stage-to-film project. Last week, in an interview with Connecticut's Litchfield County Times Krane let leak that Streep has agreed to play the Witch in the film and that Disney is planning to produce. He is reported to have said the following: "Disney is going to make the movie and I will do the arrangements. Meryl Streep will be the Witch and it will be the first time I have worked with her since 1977 when we did ‘Happy End.'" (Krane conducted the Broadway musical in which Streep had a starring role)
Into The Woods, with a book by James Lapine and music and lyrics by the legendary Stephen Sondheim, follows several Brothers Grimm fairy tale characters as their plots become intertwined during their journeys through the forest. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1987 with two-time Tony winner and Sondheim regular Bernadette Peters (Follies) originating the role of the Witch. Vanessa Williams later took on the role in the 2002 Broadway revival and Donna Murphy gave us the latest incarnation in the 2012 Shakespeare in the Park production.
Stephen Sondheim himself claims to have no knowledge of casting decisions at this time, so we just may have to take a note from the musical itself and start wishing.
In the meantime listen to this interview with Meryl Streep talking about her role in Happy End: