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Stephen Sondheim clarifies remarks about Into The Woods film changes

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Jun 24, 2014 | 12:47pm EDT

Theatre mogul Stephen Sondheim has blamed "misreporting" for sending fans of his hit musical Into The Woods into a spin after he was quoted suggesting the upcoming Disney film adaptation had been drastically altered from the original storyline. The acclaimed composer and lyricist had been speaking to a group of high school drama teachers as part of a Master Class event about censorship in schools earlier this month (Jun14), when he allegedly revealed the Into the Woods film would no longer feature the popular song Any Moment, which is performed by Cinderella's Prince, played by Chris Pine. During the chat, he also reportedly claimed Disney executives had warned him not to kill off Mackenzie Mauzy's character Rapunzel, and was quoted in The New Yorker as saying, "We replotted it. I won't tell you what happens, but we wrote a new song to cover it." His revelations shocked devotees of the critically-acclaimed stage show and sparked a furious debate online, but now Sondheim has reached out to fans to clarify his remarks. In a statement issued on Tuesday (24Jun14), Sondheim accused The New Yorker editors of misquoting him, creating "some false impressions" about the Disney movie adaptation. He added, "The fact is that James (Lapine, who wrote both the show and the movie) and I worked out every change from stage to screen with the producers and with Rob Marshall, the director. Despite what the New Yorker article may convey, the collaboration was genuinely collaborative and always productive. "When the conversation with the teachers occurred, I had not yet seen a full rough cut of the movie. Coincidentally, I saw it immediately after leaving the meeting and, having now seen it a couple of times, I can happily report that it is not only a faithful adaptation of the show, it is a first-rate movie. "And for those who care, as the teachers did, the Prince's dalliance is still in the movie, and so is Any Moment." The cast of the Into the Woods film version also includes Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and James Corden.

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