Lily James of "Downton Abbey" fame will play Cinderella in a new Disney live-action film, while Cate Blanchett will portray her evil stepmother, the Walt Disney Company announced on Tuesday, April 30.
Sir Kenneth Branagh is directing "Cinderella.: The Walt Disney Company, which made the 1950 animated classic movie about a beautiful girl who serves as a house servant to her evil stepmother and two stepsisters, has not announced a release date for the new movie.
James, a British actress, played Poppy on the show "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" before she was given the recurring role of Lady Rose MacClare on "Downton Abbey." She also starred in the 2013 movie "Wrath of the Titans.
Emma Watson, who played Hermoine in the "Harry Potter" films, was previously considered for the leading role in "Cinderella," Variety reported several weeks ago. The outlet said Disney is reportedly aiming for a 2014 release date.
Blanchett, an Australian actress, won an Oscar for her role in the 2004 film "The Aviator" and was nominated for Academy Awards for her performances in the movies "Elizabeth," "Notes on a Scandal," "I'm Not There" and "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." She also played Galadriel in the "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" films.
Branagh, a five-time Oscar nominated actor/director, helmed several film adaptations of Shakespeare plays such as "Hamlet," "As You Like It" and "Much Ado About Nothing" and also directed the Marvel movie "Thor" and the thriller "Jack Ryan." He may be known to younger audiences as Professor Gilderoy Lockhart from the 2002 movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."
Do you think Lily James is a good choice to play Cinderella? What about Cate Blanchett as her evil stepmother? Vote in our polls below.