Boy, Disney are keen for us not to give up on their new live-action version of “Cinderella.” When first announced a couple of years ago, we were pretty ho-hum: fairy-tale movies were already ten-a-penny after the success of “Alice in Wonderland“, and the creative team of producer Simon Kinberg (“Jumper,” “This Means War“) and writer Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Morning Glory“) wasn’t especially enticing. But last year, the studio announced that “Never Let Me Go” helmer Mark Romanek was attached to direct, and suddenly we got interested.
And this afternoon, there’s been some further news that could bode well, as Heat Vision has announced that Chris Weitz, the writer-director best known in recent years for helming “The Golden Compass” and “Twilight: New Moon” as well as the acclaimed indie “A Better Life,” is coming on board to rewrite McKenna’s script.
Weitz’s ventures into tentpole territory turned out pretty badly (although “The Golden Compass” was beset by studio interference), but he’s a talented writer, winning an Oscar nomination for his excellent script for “About a Boy.” It’s too early to tell on which end of the spectrum this’ll end up, but we can certainly see how his voice might work out nicely on “Cinderella.” It’s not his only writing job at present, as he’s also penning the musical “Heck” for MGM.
It does make us wonder, though, could Weitz end up doing more than writing? Romanek’s always felt like an awkward fit on the project, and he’s shown no problem bailing on studio projects that wouldn’t give him free rein in the past (see: “The Wolf Man“). With Weitz’s experience spanning both romance and effects work, it’s possible that the studio has him in mind in case things don’t work out with Romanek. But we’re wildly speculating here: we know who we’d rather have behind the camera. The film currently doesn’t have any cast involved, but Weitz’s hire suggests that Disney are keen to get the project set up sooner rather than later.