Disney’s highly-anticipated Into the Woods is yet another Hollywood movie filmed on the pretty shores of Blighty, and a new Creative England film (below) sees the director and cast open up about the beautiful backdrop of the film.
“I love filming in England,” says director Rob Marshall on screen. “England is so rich for things we needed for fairytales. It has period villages, magnificent forests and woods with ancient trees with scale and size, which was thrilling to find and it has castles, which are part of our fairytale world.”
Into the Woods combines traditional fairytales Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Rapunzel into a musical adventure. Starring Johnny Depp as the wolf, Meryl Streep as the Witch, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, James Corden as the baker and Emily Blunt as the baker’s wife, it follows a couple trying to rid themselves of an evil curse.
“In America they just couldn’t find the trees to match the trees in Windsor Great Park, you know, which are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years old,” explains James Corden. “That was a massive draw for the director to shoot the film here. It was that very texture and landscape that just doesn’t exist anywhere outside of England, I don’t think.”
The cast and crew filmed many of the woodland scenes in the mystical Windsor Great Park, filled with large oak trees and a waterfall, where characters perform a musical number named ‘Agony’ in the film.
“We were very lucky we got to shoot in Windsor Park, and we felt very spoiled,” explains Anna Kendrick. “It’s some of the most gorgeous location work in the film,” she says.
The crew tracked down other magical settings for the movie, including National Trust site Ashridge Estate, in Berkhamsted, viewers will recognise this area during the ‘Giants in the Sky’ song performed by Daniel Huttlestone, as Jack a nod to fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk. Meanwhile, Oxfordshire’s pretty Hambleden Village, near Henley on Thames, doubles for the baker’s village at the edge of the woods and English Heritage site Dover Castle features at the beginning of the movie when Cinderella gets married.
“It was very romantic and cool,” says Kendrick, “they let us put up a couple of green screens so we could build CGI bits that could then crumble in the earthquake, because obviously we weren’t about to start knocking holes in Dover Castle.”
To celebrate the release of Into the Woods Dover Castle will offer Into The Woods tours, so fans can relive this glorious scene from the movie.
See below for Creative England’s full video on Into the Woods filming, made in partnership with Disney and the Film is GREAT campaign:
Into the Woods is showing in UK cinemas from today.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news