Today in show business: The youngest cast member of Into the Woods has been found, a crazy new production of Chicago is in the works, and NBC sets up its fall for you.
The Rob Marshall-directed movie adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's brilliant fractured fairytale musical Into the Woods lurches ever closer to production. They've just cast one of the major parts, Jack. As in the Beanstalk. Typically this role is played by a guy in his late teens or early twenties, so who could they have gotten for this pivotal role? Singin' dancin' Zac Efron? Mop-topped bro-bander Nick Jonas? You know, someone who all the girls (and boys -- it's a musical, people) can scream for? Well, no. They've cast a small child. Remember Gavroche from the Les Misérables movie, the little boy who [SPOILER ALERT] gets beaned with a bullet on the barricade? The kid who played him, wee Daniel Huttlestone, will be playing Jack. The 13-year-old showed moxie and pluck in Les Mis, but it's a weird choice to make Jack such a young kid. It's not like he has a love interest or anything, but it changes the dynamic a little bit. Ah well. The movie is not going to be the stage show, we must remind ourselves that. This is something different. Something with Chris Pine. And Johnny Depp. Grumble. [Deadline]
While we're talking about theater-y things, the cast for this summer's three-night Hollywood Bowl production of Chicago has been announced and it is a doozy! Let's start with Drew Carey, who will play Amos, the poor schlub who sings "Mr. Cellophane." Then there's Samantha Barks, from Les Mis, who will be sultry nightclub femme fatale Velma. All at the age of 22. Stephen Moyer, aka Vampire Bill from True Blood, is going to play Billy Flynn. And Lucy Lawless is going to be Mama Morton. Hatchi matchi. Oh, and Brooke Shields is directing. Good grief is that a motley crew, huh? Roxie hasn't been announced yet, but I'm pretty sure it's got to be, like, Jennie Garth or something, right? I mean, as long as we're doing random, we may as well do random. Either her or Abigail Breslin. Do your worst/best, Shields. [The Hollywood Reporter]
NBC has announced the premiere dates of its fall shows, which will be thrown from the boxcar as the tattered, runaway NBC train rumbles through various depressed towns. The Blacklist, the James Spader thriller about a master criminal helping to catch other master criminals, will premiere on September 22. Chicago Fire and Law & Order: SVU (thank god) premiere that same week. The comedies, too. But here's the terrible news, folks. You're going to have to wait until freaking October 25 for more episodes of Grimm. And I know how much you all love Grimm. Nobody can stop watching Grimm. It's Grimm this and Grimm that from you people all the time. And now you'll have to endure your wait for another four months. I don't know how we're going to do it. [Entertainment Weekly]
Whoopi Goldberg has signed up for a rare (these days) acting gig. The View frowner and bus-rider will star in a Lifetime movie based on Terry McMillan's A Day Late and a Dollar Short. The story is about a woman "who after learning that her next asthma attack is likely to kill her, sets out to fix her fractured family." So... that sounds cheery. I'm sure it'll be funny and heartwarming, but it's going to be depressing at the end, like The Family Stone or something. Ah well. I'm just glad that Whoopi's acting again. She should do another movie. Like a feature movie, not just a Lifetime thing. Remember The Associate? Man, I like that movie. I know I'm not really supposed to, but I do. Make another thing like that, Whoops! For me? [The Hollywood Reporter]
Spike Jonze has a new movie, Her, coming out this November, but there's been a cast shakeup, which is worrisome. The movie is about a guy who falls in love with the computer voice of his operating system, like Siri or something I guess, and that voice was played by Samantha Morton. She did a great job, as Samantha Morton always does, but then apparently in post-production Jonze began to realize that her voice wasn't exactly working. Who knows what exactly was wrong about it, but it wasn't doing it. So, he cast Scarlett Johansson instead. Jonze just had her rerecord everything I guess? Seems drastic. But oh well. Whatever's best for the movie. Which we should all be very excited to see. And I'm sure Samantha Morton will be fine. [Vulture]