We've seen a number of mature, darker live-action takes on fairy tales recently, from Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror to Jack the Giant Slayer, but Disney seem to be sticking to a more traditional route. Filming has begun on Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella remake, and to go along with it we have the first official still of Downton Abbey's Lily James in the title role, and she looks very much like a Disney princess.
Starring Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera as the evil stepsisters, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, and Richard Madden as the handsome prince, and Stellan Skarsgard as the Grand Duke, the story is the familiar one with only a couple of minor tweaks. Here's the official synopsis via Disney's press release....
"The story of Cinderella follows the fortunes of young Ella whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother. Keen to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drisella into the family home. But, when Ella's father suddenly and unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother's dying words and to "have courage and be kind." She will not give in to despair nor despise those who abuse her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an employee at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears as if her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella's hopes of once again encountering the charming "Kit." Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand as a kindly beggar woman steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella's life forever."
Cinderella opens on March 13th 2015.