INTO THE WOODS
The Abridged Script
EXT. FAR FAR AWAY
Once upon a time, ANNA KENDRICK is the classic fairytale character CINDERELLA!
My stepmom and her daughters
Always treat me like a slave!
But I’ve got a fairy godmo-
Er, I mean, a magic grave!
I’ll ask my magic ghost mom
Not for wealth, or to be free
But instead to go out dancing
I’m an idiot, you see.
Elsewhere, DANIEL HUTTLESTONE is the classic fairytale character JACK (you know, the beanstalk kid)!
I asked Mom not to sell the cow
But I could not convince her
I guess we’re starving, so it’s this
Or run it through the mincer.
Elsewhere elsewhere, LILLA CRAWFORD is the classic fairytale character RED RIDING HOOD!
I see, so it’s a mashup
Of a bunch of nursery rhymes
Is Disney trying to atone
For Once Upon a Time?
Elsewhere elsewhere elsewhere, JAMES CORDEN is the classic fairytale character
HANSEL RUMPELSTILTSKIN TOM THUMB “THE BAKER” and EMILY BLUNT is GRETEL SNOW WHITE SLEEPING BEAUTY “THE BAKER’S WIFE”? Hold on, who are these people? Seriously, they don’t even have names.
I’m an anxious, shlubby loser
With a gorgeous, nagging wife
Like from every single sitcom
You’ve encountered in your life.
Our attempts to have a baby
Have gone from bad to worse
Perhaps it should occur to us
That maybe we’ve been cursed
I mean, we live right next door
To a crazy, evil witch
It’s not a great location
But, well, moving’s such a bitch.
Suddenly, said witch MERYL STREEP bursts in, cosplaying as GRANDMAMA ADDAMS!
I will end the curse upon you
If you do just what I say
Namely, tie these plots together
In an awkward, lazy way
Go bring me Anna’s slipper
Lilla’s cape and Daniel’s cow
Oh and get Rapunzel’s hair as well
Yes, she’s involved somehow.
All right, I know the best way
For these items to be found
Let’s head into the woods
And wander randomly around!
All the CHARACTERS head into the WOODS for a variety of cow selling, grandmother visiting, grave wishing and hamfisted plot-gluing-together purposes.
PRODUCTION DESIGNER DENNIS GASSNER
(exiting set forever)
Okay, from here on in just leave
The backgrounds on repeat
If you like shots of dim-lit trees
Then you’re in for a treat!
EXT. NON-DESCRIPT SECTION OF FOREST
JAMES and EMILY run into DANIEL and his COW.
Trade your cow for beans, kid?
They’re, um, MAGIC, don’t you know
But we’ll keep one for no reason
Cause the plot says to do so.
I’ll innocently trust you
And fall for this cruel trick
Don’t your machinations
Make you feel like such a prick?
Of course, I didn’t mention
That my milk cow doesn’t work
And the beans are in fact magic
But so what, you’re still the jerk.
EMILY heads for home with the cow, without singing “Maybe They’re Magic”. Because fuck you, that’s why.
YOU HAVE ACQUIRED: COW AS WHITE AS MILK
EXT. A DIFFERENT PART OF THE WOODS
LILLA runs into JOHNNY DEPP, who looks sillier than ALL HIS TIM BURTON ROLES PUT TOGETHER PLUS TONTO.
Good day, miss, I’m the Big Bad-
Well, not wolf, that’s total trash
I’m just some hobo furry
With a creepy pedostache
My hunger for your flesh
Gives me a creepy pedo vibe
These things are horrifying
But I guess at least they jibe?
JOHNNY hurries ahead to LILLA’S GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE and EATS THE GRANDMOTHER (offscreen). Then when LILLA shows up he EATS HER TOO (also offscreen). But then JAMES shows up, slays JOHNNY and SAVES THE DAY (also fucking offscreen, I mean come on).
That’s my story over
Less than half an hour in
Perhaps this useless subplot
Should have been left in the bin.
LILLA rewards JAMES with her HOOD, then proceeds to just sort of hang around for the rest of the movie.
YOU HAVE ACQUIRED: CAPE AS RED AS BLOOD
EXT. ANOTHER INTERCHANGEABLE BUNCH OF TREES
ANNA is running away from THE ROYAL BALL, which is yet another thing that happened OFFSCREEN UGH.
I know it seems my story’s
Also over, just about
But we’ll do this scene twice more
And that should pad things out.
She runs into EMILY, who tries to get her SLIPPER but in the confusion only succeeds in losing the COW.
YOU HAVE UNACQUIRED: COW AS WHITE AS MILK
EXT. OH SCREW IT, NO MORE SCENE HEADINGS, IT’S ALL JUST THE SAME FUCKING FOREST
JAMES manages to randomly run into the COW!
YOU HAVE REACQUIRED: COW AS WHITE AS MILK
But then DANIEL shows up, trying to repurchase the COW with GOLD he stole from the GIANT. You know, the one he already visited. While we weren’t looking.
At some point could we actually
SHOW STUFF, pretty please?
Where the hell’s our budget?
Did we blow it all on trees?
The stage play had no giants
Due to practical limitations
Not because it’s fun to use
Our damn imaginations!
JAMES tries to talk his way out of selling back the COW. Then suddenly the COW randomly FALLS DOWN AND DIES!
YOU HAVE RE-UNACQUIRED: COW AS WHITE AS MILK
Well never mind then, guess I’ll go
And steal more giant treasure
I’ve gotten rich already
So this time it’s just for pleasure
And once I’ve robbed the giant blind
I think I’ll murder it
If you think about it, really,
I’m a horrid little shit.
He goes and does these horrible things. (Offscreen natch.)
Meanwhile I’ve obtained
Rapunzel’s hair, just by the way
Don’t worry how it happened
It was brief and throwaway.
YOU HAVE ACQUIRED: HAIR AS YELLOW AS CORN
And hey look, it’s time for TAKE THREE of the ANNA RUNS INTO EMILY WHILE FLEEING THE ROYAL BALL scene.
So what have I been doing
Between dancing, do you think?
Some laundry, surely, or by now
This dress would have to stink.
This time EMILY GETS ANNA’S SLIPPER, in exchange for that LEFTOVER MAGIC BEAN, which ANNA throws into some RANDOM DIRT (DUN DUN DUNNNNN!).
YOU HAVE ACQUIRED: SLIPPER AS PURE AS GOLD
JAMES and EMILY bring the SLIPPER, HAIR and CAPE to MERYL! But the COW remains DEAD.
I’ll just go ahead and use
My death-cure magic then!
Man, it’s Star Trek: Into Darkness
All over again.
She brings the COW back to LIFE and the contrived, arbitrary FETCH QUEST is finally COMPLETE! MERYL uses all the junk to do some MAGIC!
At long last, time for me to do
My Death Becomes Her spell!
I’ll become a youthful beauty
Or a drag queen, hard to tell.
MERYL becomes YOUNG(ish) and BEAUTIFUL(ish), which causes her to lose her POWERS for whatever reason, while EMILY is instantly NINE MONTHS PREGNANT! She and JAMES go have their BABY, and ANNA marries PRINCE CHRIS PINE, and DANIEL and his MOTHER are still RICH, and LILLA is off doing WHATEVER and THEY ALL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!
Don’t go yet, we’re not done!
Another giant just appeared!
Or go home if you want, I guess
It’s all downhill from here.
The GIANT’S WIFE comes down the OTHER BEANSTALK and starts WRECKING SHIT! LILLA’S FAMILY randomly GET CRUSHED AND DIE!
FRANCES DE LA TOUR
Some kid killed my husband
After stealing all our stuff!
He really is a psychopath
We can’t stress that enough!
And yes, if you were wondering
I was Madame Maxime
There’s just something about me
That screams “giant”, it would seem.
Everyone FREAKS OUT, and DANIEL’S MOTHER randomly GETS PUSHED OVER AND DIES! JAMES and EMILY go off in different DIRECTIONS hoping to randomly run across DANIEL, but instead EMILY bumps into PRINCE CHRIS.
We’ve met three times before
But suddenly I find you hot
Let’s randomly make out
And further stall this boring plot!
They KISS for a while. The FOREST BIRDS inform ANNA, who promptly dumps CHRIS. True love is a sham! SUBVERSION!
But Frozen and Maleficent
Already went that way
At what point does subversion
Turn back into a cliche?
But then EMILY randomly STUMBLES OVER A CLIFF AND DIES! Meanwhile ANNA’S GHOST MOM had her GRAVE DESTROYED which makes her DOUBLE DEAD or something! DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH
Oh no, my wife is dead!
I can’t be a single dad!
Mine went and abandoned me
And I’d be just as bad!
I’d best stay out of my son’s life
i.e., abandon him
I don’t see what's wrong with that
Because I’m rather dim.
MERYL brings them DANIEL and they all argue about whether they should feed him to the GIANT. MERYL rants INCOHERENTLY and REGAINS HER MAGIC POWERS.
I could use my regained powers
To resurrect your dead
But I’ll just throw a hissy fit
And kill myself instead.
MERYL randomly SINKS INTO THE EARTH and DIES.
Dear God, this story’s turned into
A morbid, cluttered mess
Let’s wrap this shit already
And go slay a giantess!
They throw LITTLE ROCKS at THE GIANT’S BARN-SIZED HEAD until she falls over, pulling a tree onto herself and getting CRUSHED the way a REGULAR-SIZED PERSON might get crushed by a HATSTAND.
So what, then, is the moral
Of this drawn-out piece of shite?
“Be careful what you wish for
Cause you just might get it”, right?
Sure, getting it is AWESOME
But after that part’s done
A giant drops down from the sky
And murders everyone.