I guess the point of this bit of CGI footage is to announce to the world that Disney has, in fact, made a live-action Cinderella. There’s certainly nothing else to it. Yes, it’s a glass slipper. Very pretty. I defy anyone to get that particular shoe on their foot, let alone walk in it.
Disney has actually been rolling this out since at least March when a big production was made to introduce the film at Cinema Con, including the”logo” poster you can see below and a sneak peek at some footage. Apparently this version will take its cues from the Disney animated feature, which makes sense. There won’t be anyone singing about little chairs in little corners or posing philosophical questions on the dance floor, as in the Rodgers and Hammerstein version. (Which I grew up with and from which I can still quote lines)
The script is by Aline Brosh McKenna (27 Dresses, The Devil Wears Prada, Morning Glory, I Don’t Know How She Does It – as well as the upcoming Annie remake) and Chris Weitz (About a Boy – film and series), so expect it to be pretty “chick-flicky” with bold brush-strokes of genuine human emotion.
The official synopsis from Disney:
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.
Including both Cindy’s parents is new. Even Ever After only included Dad. Hayley “Agent Carter” Atwell and Ben Chaplin play ill-fated Mother and Father.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the cast includes Cate Blanchett as the Evil Stepmother, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, the late Robb Stark…er…Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera (Daisy in “Downton Abbey”) as the Stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella and Lily James (also of “Downton Abbey”) as Cinderella.
I remain a fool for Branagh, so I know I’ll see it. Cinderella hits theaters March 13, 2015. (If that weren’t so far away, I’d say odds are we’ll get a longer teaser in front of Disney’s Maleficent on May 30.)