Upon the release of the first teaser trailer for Rob Marshall’s upcoming big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s twisted fairy-tale musical, Into The Woods superfans—call us Woodies—were put off by its lack of anything resembling actual singing. (“I wish! I wish there was singing!”) Sondheim’s music and lyrics for the stage musical are among the medium’s all-time best, and Disney’s decision to obscure them in the film’s first big promotional push felt like something of a betrayal. Not that it’s any secret this film is a musical, but the music should be treated as a feature of the movie, not a bug to be glossed over.
This will hopefully all be addressed when the film gets a full trailer that’s just packed to the gills with singing; but for those of us dying to hear how Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, and the rest of the cast will handle Sondheim’s notoriously tricky syncopated lyrics, there’s a hopeful glimmer offered in the form of a new promotional featurette for the film.
Wish granted! Sort of! The four-minute clip focuses mostly on not-particularly-revealing talking-head interviews with the film’s cast, Marshall, and Sondheim, but in between all the mutual back-patting there’s some honest-to-goodness music, specifically the “I Wish” lyrical motif that runs through the entire show, and a bit of Meryl Streep’s Witch performing “Stay With Me” (and sounding pretty good!). It also offers a longer look at the film itself, which appears to still have the Maleficent-esque storybook sheen seen in the teaser, but with perhaps a little more dirt and darkness than it originally seemed. Here’s wishing.