Since Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland', Disney has had a thing for live-action fairy tales, and next summer will see the debut of Cinderella, a new live-action feature from director Kenneth Branagh based on the classic tale.
The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father 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 mistreat her.
And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears 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 (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (two-time Oscar® nominee Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella’s life forever.
The first trailer below will introduce audiences to James (“Downton Abbey”) in the iconic role of Cinderella, a beautiful young woman with a gentle spirit who, despite the cruelty and abuse she is subjected to from her stepmother and her daughters, continues to remain positive and steadfast, as well as the first images of Oscar® winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) as the wicked stepmother, Madden (“Game of Thrones”) as the dashing, intelligent and thoughtful Prince, and the one-of-a-kind glass slipper. The slipper was designed by three-time Academy Award®-winning costume designer Sandy Powell (“The Aviator”) and produced by Swarovski, and is a magnificent work of art.