Just as we were reporting on “Into the Wood”‘s Christmas Day 2014 release, the Weinstein Company has a Christmas present for moviegoers as well – at least this sounds better news than saying that “August: Osage County” has been shifted a good month into December. According to The Wrap, The Weinstein Company on Thursday shifted the release date of one of its main awards hopefuls, “August: Osage County,” to Christmas Day. It had been scheduled to debut on November 8. Christmas is getting crowded. Also set to debut on that day are Universal’s Keanu Reeves action drama “47 Ronin,” Paramount’s Chris Pine-Keira Knightley action thriller “Jack Ryan” and the Fox comedy “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

Mark your calendars, in case you already have one dating that far into the future :-) According to The Huffington Post, “Into the Woods” will release US theaters Christmas – next year. They write, “Coming Christmas 2014: the case of the competing family fare. Disney has announced it will pit its buzzy remake of “Annie” against Sony’s equally buzzy adaptation of “Into the Woods.” Both have been the subject of endless casting updates over the past several weeks. The latest news has Sandra Bullock possibly taking on the role of Miss Hannigan in “Annie”; comedian Tracey Ullman, meanwhile, will potentially join Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp and the rest of the all-star lineup that “Into the Woods” boasts. The two films will have a heck of a feat ahead of them next year during the lead-up to their releases, which will also thrust lip-locking pals Bullock and Streep against each other at the box office”. Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tracey Ullman is in negotiations to join the growing cast of Into the Woods, Disney’s adaptation of the Broadway musical being directed by Rob Marshall. Ullman will join an all-star roster that is likley to include Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Emily Blunt, all of whom are in various stages of negotiations to be part of the production. The play is a darkly comic mashup of classic fairy tales that revolves around a childless baker and his wife (Blunt), who attempt to lift a family curse by journeying into the woods to confront the witch that put the spell on them. Along the way, they encounter a group of characters including Rapunzel, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. Ullman will play the mother to Jack the Giant Killer, who has yet to be cast. Streep is playing a witch and Depp is taking on a variation of the fairy tale wolf. Gyllenhaal and Pine play princes to Cinderella and Rapunzel. Many thanks to Frank and Glenn for the heads-up.

According to BroadwayWorld, a new casting notice for Disney confirms the commitment of Streep and Depp in the film’s pivotal roles, along with the addition of James Corden playing the Baker: “Starring in “Into The Woods” is three-time Academy Award nominee and Disney favorite Johnny Depp, who is playing a hungry and sexy vicissitude of the fairy tale Wolf. Also starring as the vain and charismatic Witch is three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. Rounding out the first three roles Disney has cast is Tony Award winner James Corden playing the role of The Baker. Corden, who is hugely popular in England, recently played the role of “Britain’s Got Talent” sensation Paul Potts in the film “One Chance”.” The casting notice is available here. Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

And another event update. On April 22, Meryl Streep and husband Don Gummer have attended the the 50th anniversary gala of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, an organization founded in the early 1960s on the model of artists supporting one another’s creative efforts. It started as visual artists supporting performing artists, but since 1993 artists working in just about any medium have been eligible for a grant. More information can be found here. A picture from the anniversary gala has been added to the image library with many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

Yesterday, Meryl Streep was a surprise guest at Indiana University’s dedication and demonstration of Big Red II, the first one petaFLOPS supercomputer in the state and the fastest university-owned system in the nation. Indiana University continues to lead the state, nation, and world in using high-speed computation to expand the frontiers of research. But in an age where each day brings a life-changing discovery, staying at the forefront means working at the speed of innovation. While there’s little coverage on the event, one picture has been added to the image library.

Here’s an update on “Into the Woods” courtesy Deadline: Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep filming together and singing. Who can resist? Not Disney any longer. It’s taken 16 months to get off the ground – ever since January 2012, when the studio sent out a press release announcing Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) would be directing Stephen Sondheim’s iconic 1987 Broadway musical Into The Woods as a feature film for Disney. A table read was held in NYC this past October featuring Donna Murphy, Megan Hilty, Christine Baranski, Allison Janney and quite a few other Broadway stars. Buzz of Streep’s interest first surfaced last summer and this past week Marshall confirmed in an interview to Playbill that she was “in” to the play the witch. Today Variety reported Depp’s interest. Now I’ve confirmed that Johnny and Meryl “almost have their deals wrapped up for the film,” according to sources. Marshall directed 2011’s Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 (which might have been more palatable as a musical because it stunk as the franchise’s fourquel) so he’s already Mouse friendly. The original musical with music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by James Lapine is about a childless baker and his wife who attempt to lift a family curse by journeying into the woods to confront the witch that put the spell on them. Along the way, they encounter classic fairy tale characters. Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

Meryl Streep’s voice will be heard on a special project this summer: the first audiobook edition of the late Nora Ephron’s “Heartburn”. Random House Audio announced Friday that Streep will narrate Ephron’s autobiographical novel based on her marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein, first published in 1983. The Oscar-winning actress starred in the film version, which came out three years later. Streep was a close friend of Ephron, who died last year. They worked on several movies together. The audiobook is scheduled for July. Audio editions are planned for other Ephron books, including the essay collections “Wallflower at the Orgy” and “Crazy Salad.” The narrators haven’t been chosen. Many thanks to Glenn and Frank for the heads-up.