First image from Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella is released as the film commences production

Principal photography has kicked off for Kenneth Branagh's CINDERELLA, a retelling of the classic Disney tale which stars Lily James (WRATH OF THE TITANS) as the titular character with Cate Blanchett playing the evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine. The press release announcing the start of production also included the first official image from the film, which has a blonde-haired James riding on horseback through a field, naturally.

Saddle up!:

From the press release:

The film stars Lily James (“Downton Abbey,” “Wrath of the Titans”) in the title role, Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones,” “Birdsong”) as the Prince, Oscar®-winner Cate Blanchett (“The Aviator”) as the infamous stepmother Lady Tremaine, and Academy Award-nominee Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech,” “Alice in Wonderland”) as the Fairy Godmother. Holliday Grainger (“Great Expectations,” “Anna Karenina”) and Sophie McShera (“Downton Abbey,” “Waterloo Road”) play Ella’s stepsisters Anastasia and Drisella, respectively. Stellan Skarsgård (“The Avengers,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and Nonso Anozie (“Game of Thrones,” “The Grey”) play the Arch Grand Duke and the Prince’s loyal friend, the Captain. Tony® Award-winner Derek Jacobi portrays the King.

“It is impossible to think of Cinderella without thinking of Disney and the timeless images we’ve all grown up watching. And those classic moments are irresistible to a filmmaker,” said director Kenneth Branagh. “With Lily James we have found our perfect Cinderella. She combines knockout beauty with intelligence, wit, fun and physical grace. Her Prince is being played by Richard Madden, a young actor with incredible power and charisma. He is funny, smart and sexy and a great match for Cinderella.”

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.
Although not my usual cup of tea, I'm a fan of Branagh, both as an actor and director, and the cast is a great lot of actors who all seem to be perfectly cast in their roles. Blanchett will no doubt eat up the role of Lady Tremaine, while Helena Bonham Carter seems well suited for the Fairy Godmother, and Richard Madden, fresh from a not-so-happy wedding on Game of Thrones, is primed to jump into happier times with this classic tale.

CINDERELLA is set to hit theaters on March 13, 2015.

Extra Tidbit: Ever After is one of the most recent Cinderella adaptations. It could also be used as a torture device on me.
Source: Disney



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