Looks like Disney are plowing ahead with their live-action adaptations of their own classic animations as the first teaser for the upcoming Kenneth Branagh version of Cinderella has hit the web.
The House of Mouse are either extremely confident that Angelina Jolie's Maleficent will go down well or in Branagh's capability as a director (Thor, My Week With Marilyn and the closest thing you can get to a fairytale Hamlet) or possibly both as we finally get confirmation that a new version of Disney's 1950 classic will hit screens in March 2015. But apart from getting the date and a glimpse at a CGI glass slipper, that's all we learn from the teaser.
The accompanying synopsis at least confirms the casting news that we already knew: Downton Abbey's Lily James will play the titular Cinderella (or just 'Ella' this time), Cate Blanchett will hopefully get to ham the screen up a storm as the evil stepmother, Game of Thrones star Richard Madden will be our Prince Charming and, because a Disney movie isn't complete without her, Helena Bonham-Carter gets to show her good side as the Fairy Godmother.
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 (Cate 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 (Helena Bonham-Carter) steps forward and -- armed with a pumpkin and a few mice -- changes Cinderella's life forever.
With Branagh at the helm (and if Maleficent is anything to go by) this could surprise us all and go quite dark, which would be a nice change to the clean cut fairytale of old. And something must have caught Blanchett's eye to get her to sign on the dotted line. Something other than a rake of dollar signs and zeros hopefully.