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Have you gone ‘Into The Woods’ today…

Jenny Priestley reviews ‘Into The Woods’, John Travolta returns to TV and the new Ghostbusters are all women!

Into The Woods

This week I attended a press conference with Meryl Streep to promote her new film ‘Into The Woods’, which is out in UK cinemas now. The film is based on the musical by Stephen Sondheim and uses characters from well-known fairy-tales and look at what happens to them after their Happily Ever After. It’s quite dark but also funny and has a strong message. Streep plays the role of The Witch in the film and she says when director Rob Marshall offered her the role she felt she was almost destined to do it as Bernadette Peters was the first actress to play the Witch in the Broadway production, and Peters is an anagram of Streep!
The film has a great cast including James Corden, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Tracey Ullman, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine. Director Rob Marshall said he didn’t set out to have such an international cast but that he “cast the greatest people for the roles. I asked Meryl and Johnny do it but everyone else auditioned. There’s no-one else like Meryl for depth, humour and vulnerability. Every time I watch the movie it’s like I’m seeing it for the first time and that’s down to Meryl”.
Emily Blunt makes her musical debut in the film as she plays the Baker’s Wife. She says she didn’t know the story when she went for her audition and it was her husband John Krasinski who encouraged her to go for the role: “He doesn’t know musicals but he knew ‘Into The Woods’ and he was singing it to me when I went for my audition. I did it because I wanted to work with Meryl again”.
Johnny Depp is also amongst the cast, playing the Wolf who has designs on Little Red Riding Hood. Marshall says the actor was excited to be part of the film: “Johnny is a creative force and an extraordinary man. He was excited to have a small part in a company. He was also excited to play the role and he was desperate to work with Meryl, that’s for sure!”.
I liked the film; for me it’s probably the best of the Rob Marshall directed musicals. Although it is a bit long!

Still undecided, you can watch the official trailer here:

‘Into The Woods’ is showing now across the UK.

…and if you can’t get enough of Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp will walk the red carpet in London on January 19 for the UK premiere of his new film, Mortdecai. He’ll be joined at the premiere by co-star Paul Bettany and the film’s director David Koepp. The premiere takes place at the Empire Leicester Square.

Lenny Kravitz will join Katy Perry at the Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 1. Perry has invited Kravitz to be her special guest as part of the show. Revealing the news, Perry said Kravitz will be her “first special guest” so there may be more announcements to come.

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Lupita N’yongo

Just before Christmas I told you that David Oyelowo and Lupita N’yongo look set to star together in new film ‘Americanah’. Now they’re in talks to work together again in a new Disney movie called ‘Queen of Katwe’ which is about a young African chess prodigy, Oyelowo is expected to play the young girl’s mentor with Oscar-winner N’yongo appearing as her mother. Filming is expected to begin in the spring.

Jennifer Hudson is to make her Broadway debut in a revival of ‘The Color Purple’. Hudson will play Shug Avery in the production which will open later this year and has Oprah Winfrey among its producers.

Phylicia Rashad has joined the cast of new film, ‘Creed’. The film will see Sylvester Stallone return as Rocky Balboa as he becomes the coach of a young boxer played by Michael B Jordan. Rashad will play the young boxer’s mother. Filming is due to begin later this month.

John Travolta is returning to TV for the first time in over 30 years. He will appear in new drama ‘American Crime Story: The People vs O J Simpson’. The show has been created by Ryan Murphy – the man behind Glee and American Horror Story – and will look at the Simpson trial from the perspective of both the defence and prosecution, Cuba Gooding Jr. will star as Simpson with former Friends actor David Schwimmer playing Robert Kardashian, one of Simpson’s lawyers.

Oscar Nominations

Chris Pine will join directors JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cauron to announce the Oscar nominations on Thursday lunchtime. The nominations are announced around 1.30pm UK time.

It looks like the new ‘Ghostbusters’ movie is finally gearing up to start shooting this summer. The new film will focus on a group of female Ghostbusters with Melissa McCarthy in talks to play the lead character. Other actresses being mooted for roles in the film include Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and Rebel Wilson. The film is expected to include cameos from Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson.

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Snoop Dogg

Kerry Washington has been announced as the Honourary Chair of this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards. The honour is given to an individual “who exemplifies outstanding artistic achievement and embodies Film Independent’s mission to nurture and support creative independence in visual storytelling.” The awards take place on February 21, the day before the Oscars.

Snoop Dogg will play himself in an upcoming episode of new drama series ‘Empire’. The show debuted in the States this week and tied with How To Get Away With Murder as the top premiere of the new TV season. Snoop will appear in episode 11 which is expected to air in late February or early March.

For more entertainment news, the latest movie trailers and showbiz gossip throughout 2015 follow @JennyPriestley on Twitter.

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