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  1. Mr. Arkadin

    Into the Woods (2014)

    Via The Hollywood Reporter: Into the Woods — which intertwines several classic fairytale characters, including Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, with the story of a baker and his wife’s attempt to have a family — returns the helmer and longtime choreographer to the musical genre at which he has excelled with movies including Oscar winner Chicago (2002) and Nine (2009). He says he first started thinking of it a year ago, while in postproduction on Pirates. After calling Lapine, the two got together in producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s Santa Monica offices. “We talked about the meaning of it and how timely it is still, and about family – that’s always at the core of our lives,” he says. “James said: ‘But I don’t want to put it in development for another 10 years.’ ” Marshall agreed, and then brought it to Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross and production president Sean Bailey. “They were classy, classy, classy and incredibly generous to us,” he adds, Lapine is now at work on the script, which Marshall expects to feature new songs by Sondheim. The project reunites him with the musical giant, for whom Marshall worked as a choreographer twice in the 1990s, with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Company. He first met Sondheim at Broadway director Hal Prince’s Christmas party in 1993, when Marshall was choreographing Prince’s stage version of The Kiss of the Spider Woman, his first Broadway outing as choreographer. “He’s a genius when it comes to his score,” Marshall says of Sondheim, “but what’s so extraordinary is, he really understands all the elements of theater — the choreography, the book and the production design — and has an amazing sense of the whole.” Marshall at one point had thought of directing Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, but that fell through because of “timing,” he says. Subsequently, it was made as a film by director Tim Burton, with Depp starring.