The trend for live-action adaptations of fairy tale movies is in full swing; you just haven’t seen these labors come to full fruition yet because most of the releases have been staggered. After Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland” made more than a billion at the worldwide box-office in 2010, all the movie studios —as they are wont to do for lack of a better idea— decided “hey, a billion dollars is cool, all these fairy tales are in public domain, so we need one of those stat!” So every studio under the sun started tasking writers to come up with their own new spin on fairy tales. Universal gave us “Snow White And The Huntsman” in 2012, as did Relativity with “Mirror, Mirror,” Disney went back to the well once again with “Maleficent” (which is the third highest grossing film of the year worldwide, so the plan is working for that particular corporation), and more fairy tale adaptations are coming: “Into The Woods” (Disney), Joe Wright’s “Pan” (Warner Bros.) a Sofia Coppola-helmed “Little Mermaid” (Universal/Working Title), Jon Favreau’s “The Jungle Book” (Disney) and Bill Condon’s take on “Beauty And The Beast” (Disney).
In case it’s not abundantly clear, Disney knows where their bread is buttered, so the studio is at the forefront of this slow-to-manifest phenomenon. So coming in 2015 is the studio’s live-action adaptation of “Cinderella.” Directed by Kenneth Branagh —who’s made a concerted effort at becoming a viable commercial film director again thanks to Marvel’s “Thor” and “Jack Ryan”— the title role is being played by a relative unknown. Lily James is a rising star in the UK, but is best known to U.S. audiences for a role on “Downton Abbey” that began full time in season four.
Written by Aline Brosh McKenna (“We Bought a Zoo”) and Chris Weitz (“The Twilight Saga: New Moon”), “Cinderella” also stars Cate Blanchett playing Lady Tremaine, Richard Madden (“Game Of Thrones”) as Prince Charming, Sophie McShera (“Downton Abbey”) as Drizella Tremaine, Holliday Grainger (“The Riot Club”) as Anastasia Tremaine and Helena Bonham Carter as The Fairy Godmother. All and all, Disney has banked on a lot of mostly unknown English thespians, but mainstream audiences didn’t know who Mia Wasikowska was in ‘Alice’ which didn’t stop the picture from being a huge global hit.
The film also features appearances by Lars Von Trier fave and ‘Thor/Avengers’ supporting actor Stellan Skarsgård, Hayley Atwell (“Agent Carter“), Ben Chaplin, Derek Jacobi and Nonso Anozie (yet another “Game Of Thrones” alum). We imagine you already know the plot of “Cinderella” —the glass slipper, a pumpkin and a few mice, etc.— so we won’t bore you any further. The new trailer has arrived and you can judge your interest below. Does it make you pine for an initial version that would have been directed by Mark Romanek? Or does it look up your alley? Sound off below. “Cinderella” opens in theaters March 13, 2015.