Yesterday the script for Into the Woods surfaced on the internet and of course I had to read it. I'm reasonably familiar with the original stage version so I'll offer a few thoughts on what will liekly be different in the film. First and foremost, essentially nothing of Meryl's character, the Witch, is cut. In fact, there's a new song for the Witch after Rapunzel runs off. Meryl will have plenty of screen time, and although likely not the most lines, she regularly shows up throughout all of the intertwined stories, even if at times briefly.
Some major differences are the cutting in the film of the Narrator/Mysterious Man. His narrations are done by the Baker, but unfortunately they also cut out the Baker's song toward the end where he sees his father, "No More." It's a great song for that character, but not necessarily fitting for the revised screenplay. Several of the montage songs and reprises, like at the end of Act I and beginning of Act II are also out, again likely for flow and time. I had also thought that since it's Disney they wouldn't kill off anyone, but the Baker's Wife dies, and Jack's Mother is described as "gone."
All in all they've stayed very loyal to the original story, which is a relief. So often while reading I found myself thinking "how the hell are they going to do that onscreen?" It will be fascinating to see how they manage to pull all of this together. I'm predicting a lot of special effects. And hopefully fantastic singing! 'Only' 18 months to wait.