Cinderella is going to the ball once again, prancing through a meadow in this first look at Disney’s live-action fairy tale along with the press release announcing principal photography.
The photo shows Lily James (Downton Abbey, Wrath of the Titans) as the titular character Ella, a young girl whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother.
Director Kenneth Branagh (Thor) said in a statement announcing the start of production:
With Lily James we have found our perfect Cinderella. She combines knockout beauty with intelligence, wit, fun and physical grace.
From the looks of things it seems like they’re going to be sticking pretty closely to the classic story, which the studio originally adapted in 1950.
The film also stars Richard Madden as the Prince Charming, Helena Bonham Carter is the Fairy Godmother, Cate Blanchett is the wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine and Holliday Grainger (Anna Karenina) and Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey) as the tormenting stepsisters Anastasia and Drisella.
Branagh also commented on the main male role:
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.
Disney’s Cinderella, which was penned by Chris Weitz (About a Boy) is currently shooting at Pinewood Studios and various locations in England. The film also stars Stellan Skarsgard and Nonso Anozie, and opens in theaters March 13th, 2015. Skarsgard (Thor) plays the Arch Grand Duke and Anozie (Game of Thrones) co-stars as the Prince’s loyal friend, the Captain; finally, Tony Award-winner Derek Jacobi portrays the king of all land.
Hit the jump for the official plot synopsis from the studio’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.
Click on the photo below to view it bigger.