It’s been such a conversation piece over the past few months about where the ladies of Rob Marshall‘s highly anticipated Into the Woods will be campaigned. Starring three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Oscar-nominee Anna Kendrick, along with James Corden, Chris Pine, and Johnny Depp, the Oscar pundits on the awards beat have been split on where they will go. Speaking to a representative behind the Walt Disney Pictures release, there is still no decision made as they await a final cut of the film.
In my initial Year-in-Advanced predictions, I placed the beautiful and way overdue Blunt in Lead Actress with Streep and Kendrick sharing love in Supporting. Since then, we have moved to a world where Blunt and Kendrick share the spots in Supporting with Streep going Lead. It’s been all too confusing.
The Original Broadway production in 1987 found “The Baker’s Wife,” who was played by Joanna Gleason, nominated and winning in Best Actress in a Musical. Blunt, who will play the role in the film adaptation, has been an arguable miss for Oscar twice (The Devil Wears Prada, The Young Victoria). There were also vocal admirers of her work in Looper as well. She also delivered earlier this year opposite Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow. It would be great to see her make a run as leading lady. However, the Lead Actress race continues to thicken up with overdue talent that includes Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby or A Most Violent Year if thrown Lead), and Amy Adams (Big Eyes). We also big contenders like Felicity Jones (maybe SUPPORTING. We are awaiting official word.), Reese Witherspoon, Rosamund Pike, and Hilary Swank. A veteran such as Streep has been known to break up parties like the one we could see ahead, quality or not. It’s also worth noting, Vanessa Williams, who played the Witch in the Broadway Revival, was nominated for a Tony Award in Lead Actress in her respective year. Laura Benanti, who played Cinderella, was nominated in Supporting. Kendrick will play Cinderella.
We haven’t even started discussing any of the men yet. In the Original Broadway production, Robert Westenberg found his way into a Tony lineup however, his role was a combined performance of The Wolf (who will be played by Johnny Depp) and the Prince (who will be played by Chris Pine). The same result occurred in the Broadway revival and its actor Gregg Edelman. James Corden‘s role is another straggler that could factor in either Lead or Supporting based on those who have seen the show. With a (seemingly) weaker Supporting Actor category, perhaps movie stars such as Depp or Pine can find some wiggle room. Even Corden as a “lead” performer in supporting can make sense to some.
In the coming weeks, we hope to get a more concrete definition of the acting talents. Keep your fingers ready to update your predictions.
Into the Woods is distributed by Walt Disney Studios and is scheduled to release December 25, 2014.