Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 by Angie Han
Emma Watson may not be interested in playing Kenneth Branagh‘s live-action Cinderella, but there are plenty of other actresses who are. Bella Heathcote, Lily James, and Margot Robbie are reportedly testing for the role in London this week, and it’s expected that one of the three will land the part.
Meanwhile, the race for the prince role is just getting started, but filmmakers already have a few names in mind. Among them is Richard Madden, who plays Robb Stark on Game of Thrones. Cate Blanchett remains on board to play the wicked stepmother. Hit the jump to keep reading.
Casting for Cinderella heated up last year when Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander, and Gabriella Wilde were eyed for the part, but fizzled when director Mark Romanek dropped out after a year and a half on the project. Watson was subsequently offered the role by Romanek’s replacement Branagh, but following her refusal Disney and Branagh seem to be taking a different approach to casting. None of the three actresses up for Cinderella are very well known, and Madden isn’t a big star outside of Game of Thrones, either.
Heathcote is probably the most famous of the female trio, having appeared in Andrew Niccol’s In Time, Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, and David Chase’s Not Fade Away over the past couple of years. James is most recognizable to U.S. audiences for her turn as Lady Rose MacClare on the last season of Downton Abbey; she was recently bumped up to series regular status for the upcoming fourth season. Robbie starred in the short-lived primetime soap Pan Am, and will appear in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street later this year.
Talented as they may be, none of them are nearly as high-profile as Blanchett, who’s been attached to play the villain since last year. The discrepancy may suggest a very villain-centric take on the tale — or it could just mean Disney’s hoping Cinderella’s name recognition will be enough to sell the movie. Last we heard, Cinderella was aiming to shoot this fall for a 2014 release.