It would very hard for any actress to replace Bernadette Peters’ witch for Into the Woods. She squashes competitors like a bug under her shoe. Squiiiiiiish. And if I was going to give someone the role, I’d pick an iconically youthful and lovely woman and load her up with make-up till she’s unrecognizable, as Stardust did with Michelle Pfieffer.
Or just cast Meryl Streep. Yah, that’s good, too.
We know that when the witch obtains all of her ingredients and gets her beauty back, the reaction is going to be marvelous. “Step back world, I’m here” marvelous. “Outta my way, you peons” marvelous. “I just drank a potion and gained eternal youth” marvelous.
She’s done it before and she’ll surely do it again. No one (except maybe Peters) does diva as well as Streep.