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Briefly: Disney’s live-action retelling of Cinderella has been coming together over the past couple months, with Kenneth Branagh stepping in to direct after Mark Romanek moved on, and Cate Blanchett cast as the wicked stepmother who makes Cinderella’s life a minor hell.

Now, after a report that indicated Disney and Branagh were looking at Bella HeathcoteLily James, and Margot Robbie as possible fits for the glass slipper, Downton Abbey actress Lily James has won the role. There’s relatively little info beyond that — Disney’s press release announcing the casting is a terse two sentences — but we’ll likely hear more soon.  Richard Madden (Robb Stark on Game of Thrones) was floated as one possible choice to play the Prince, and with James cast the producers can figure out who’ll best play opposite her as the romantic lead.

Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) wrote an early version of the script, and the current version was written by Chris Weitz (Twilight: New Moon).

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Cinderella

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.

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Briefly: Looks like Hermione Granger won’t be the next Disney princess after all. Though Emma Watson was in early talks a few weeks back to take the lead in Kenneth Branagh‘s live-action Cinderella, she’s now decided to pass on the project according to Variety’s Marc Graser. It’s not the first big shake-up for the project. Watson’s almost-casting came about after Branagh was brought in to replace Mark Romanek, whose vision was deemed too dark for Disney. Cate Blanchett remains on board to play Cinderella’s evil stepmother.

The cast of Harry Potter went all genre on the final day of February. Mere hours after word broke that Daniel Radcliffe would be joining Frankenstein, Emma Watson was reportedly in early talks to play the lead role of Cinderella in Disney’s live action remake of the property. Kenneth Branagh is attached to direct and Cate Blanchett is the wicked stepmother. Read More »

It wasn’t really a surprise when Mark Romanek moved away from directing Disney’s live-action version of Cinderella. The director’s sensibility has never seemed to be much in line with that of any major studio, and his track record with big studio projects didn’t bode well for this one.

Now, a director who is much more able to meld his approach to that of a studio is coming on board: Disney is in talks with Kenneth Branagh to direct Cate Blanchett in the film. Read More »

Disney’s live-action Cinderella film seemed to be fitting together so well. It had a talented director in Mark Romanek, an expensive screenplay by Chris Weitz and Aleen Brosh McKenna, an Oscar-winning star in Cate Blanchett as the evil-stepmother attached and a slew of actresses like Saoirse Ronan up for the lead.

The film has just experienced a setback, though, as Romanek (One Hour Photo, Never Let Me Go) has left the project because his darker take on the material wasn’t in line with Disney’s vision. Read more after the jump. Read More »

The revisionist Snow White fable The Order of the Seven was scrapped several months ago, but prospective star Saoirse Ronan may get her shot at playing a Disney princess just yet. Provided she can beat out the competition, that is.

Along with Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina) and Gabriella Wilde (Carrie), the Host actress is one of three names in the mix for Mark Romanek‘s live-action Cinderella adaptation. Whoever lands the gig will star opposite Cate Blanchett, who’s in negotiations to play the evil stepmother. More details after the jump.

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With Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror, Mirror behind us and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Jack the Giant Slayer, and Maleficent all due out within the next couple of years, it’s clear the live-action fairy tale trend isn’t going away anytime soon. One of the more promising projects coming down the pipeline is Disney’s untitled Cinderella adaptation, which has Mark Romanek attached to direct from a script by Chris Weitz. Now casting seems to be off to a great start, with Cate Blanchett the first to board. More after the jump.

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