Disney has released the first image for Cinderella, the live-action film that has begun shooting in London.
The photo shows Lily James, who will take on the title role, riding a horse across a field. The new film has given the classic Disney princess quite a makeover from the beloved animated version, with Cinderella getting a new name and a wardrobe that shows a bit more skin.
“With Lily James we have found our perfect Cinderella,” says director Kenneth Branagh in a statement announcing the start of production. “She combines knockout beauty with intelligence, wit, fun and physical grace.”
While it looks like it’s set in a similar time period to the 1950 Disney animated movie, the new project seems to feature a stronger, sexier, more independent version of Cinderella who isn’t afraid to wear a lower neckline while pursuing a very active lifestyle. Cinderella will also star Richard Madden as the Prince, Cate Blanchett as the stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother.
Best known for playing Lady Rose MacClare on TV drama Downton Abbey, James will play Ella, a young girl whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother. When Ella’s father suddenly dies, Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel new family. They make her into a servant girl and give her the nickname “Cinderella” out of spite. But Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” Then she meets a handsome prince, and, with a little help from a fairy godmother, finds her way to the ball.
Cinderella is produced by Simon Kinberg, Allison Shearmur and David Barron, from a screenplay by About a Boy writer Chris Weitz.
The cast is rounded out with Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera playing Ella’s stepsisters Anastasia and Drisella, respectively; Stellan Skarsgard playing the Grand Duke; Nonso Anozie as the Prince’s loyal friend, the Captain; and Derek Jacobi portraying the King.
Disney’s Cinderella is slated to open on March 13, 2015.
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