There aren’t exactly a lack of Cinderella adaptations. From the musical versions to Disney’s animated take, even the live-action Drew Barrymore re-telling, everyone has their favorite.
Disney wants to add one more to the slate, and called on Thor director Kenneth Branagh to bring the impoverished, unlucky heroine to the screen once more. Fans attending Disney’s D23 Expo on Saturday got a chance to see a pre-taped segment with Branagh, who teased audiences with his plans for the film and the story and how he plans to honor the beloved animated classic.
Set to hit theaters in March 2015, none of the cast or crew could attend, since they’re about to start production. Sean Bailey, president of the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Productions, promised “we will be faithful to the original material,” but added that they hoped to elevate it as well, showing the politics of the royal court while following Cinderella from her time as a young girl to the fateful night when she’s given that dress and those slippers and heads to the ball.
In the pre-taped segment, Branagh showed a screen test with the new Cinderella (Downton Abbey’s Lily James) wearing a makeshift blue gown meant to represent the one she’ll wear to the ball. As the Prince, Richard Madden of Game of Thrones will be a “funny, smart, sexy prince. A great complimentary match for Cinderella,” said Branagh. Cate Blanchett’s wicked stepmother will be at turns wicked, but also witty, and Helena Bonham Carter’s Fairy Godmother will be “warm and tender and funny.” Branagh says she’s the “voice who lets us know that all will be well.”
Branagh is concerned with getting the iconic scenes right — from the transformation of the pumpkin into the elaborate carriage, to Cinderella’s entrance into the ballroom, to the moment when she realizes the slipper does, in fact, fit. If Branagh’s excitement is any indication, this newest take on the girl who loses her slipper might just be a new classic after all.
Lily’s co-star, Richard Madden, shared a few things about the film ‘Cinderella’.
Just call him Prince Charming. “Game of Thrones’” former King in the North, Richard Madden, is playing the prince in Disney’s “Cinderella,” but he’s not quite used to wearing another royal’s shoes just yet.
“Really odd,” Richard told Access Hollywood at Comic-Con last Friday when we asked him how it felt to now be a Disney prince. “I’m like, ‘Surely, not me. Surely, I’m too old. I can’t be!’ Oh, actually, all right. I’m doing it!”
Richard, 27, said the film, which pits him opposite “Downton Abbey’s” Lily James (she’s playing Cinderella), will be fairly faithful to the story readers grew up with.
“Very true to the tale of the story,” he said. “There’s little changes happening now, so I’m not sure where it’s going to go, but it’s the story of Cinderella, we know it and it’s an amazing cast with an outstanding director, so it’s going to be really exciting,” he said. (Kenneth Branagh is directing the project.)
Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella is set to start principal photography in the UK at the end of August.
Starring Lily James (Downton Abbey) as Cinderella and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as Prince Charming, the Disney live action production will be based at Pinewood Studios.
Cinderella‘s script has been written by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) and rewritten by Chris Weitz (Twilight: New Moon). Simon Kinberg, Allison Shearmur and David Barron will produce.
Also starring is Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother and Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother. The wicked stepsisters are played by Sophie McShea (Downton Abbey) and Holliday Grainger (Great Expectations). Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgad will play the king’s adviser.
Originally, Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) was slated to direct, but earlier this year Branagh took over the reins.
Cinderella is the latest modern feature twist on classic tales, such as Snow White and the Huntsmen and Tangled.
It is scheduled for a March, 2015 release.
Exhibitor Relations has revealed the release date for Disney‘s live action Cinderella, which will be directed by Kenneth Branagh. The movie will be released in theaters on March 13, 2015! The film stars Lily James of Downton Abbey in the title role, with Richard Madden as the Prince, Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother, and Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother (Lady Tremaine). The screenplay was written by Aline Brosh McKenna, and Chris Weitz.
Director Kenneth Branagh has found his Cinderella.
The glass slipper fit on Downton Abbey’s Lily James, who has been cast in Branagh’s live-action version of the beloved fairy tale Cinderella, according to a release from Disney studios on Tuesday. On the PBS series James plays the feisty young heiress Lady Rose McClare, a character decidedly more “upstairs” than where Cinderella starts out.
The English actress starred in 2012’s Wrath of the Titans and is filming her second season on Abbey.
Cate Blanchett has already been cast to play Cinderella’s evil stepmother. The Disney release stated that other announcements would be coming shortly about the new movie version, which does not yet have a release date.