Despite rumors of Emma Watson donning the glass slipper, it has been confirmed that Lily James will portray the rags to riches princess Cinderella.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Downton Abbey actress joins Cate Blanchett and director Kenneth Branagh in this live-action fairy tale.
This version of Cinderella comes on the heels of many other successful (and some not so successful) fairy tale adaptations, like Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Hunstman, Mirror Mirror, and the highly anticipated Malificent to name a few.
While Lily James technically landed the lead role, the role of the villain seems to be a hot commodity for the “older” Hollywood starlets. For example, Helena Bonham Carter reeked havoc as the Red Queen in Alice, while Charlize Theron and Julia Roberts both played the evil queen in their respective Snow White remakes. The Sleeping Beauty remake, Malificent, stars Angelina Jolie as the title character and the story is even told from her perspective. Don’t get me wrong, Jolie, Theron and Roberts are still arguably the most beautiful women in Hollywood, but are officially past the point playing the role of the innocent and fresh faced young princess. Instead these Hollywood legends have moved on to the more exciting and dynamic roles of hideously flawed evil masterminds. It seems as though Cinderella is following right along with this format and cast the talented Cate Blanchett to play the evil stepmother responsible for Cinderella’s suffering.
While James might not be the biggest name in the upcoming film, it’s a perfect launch pad for her career. Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Alice in Wonderland) and Lily Collins (Snow White in Mirror, Mirror) also got their big breaks playing relatively unknown leading ladies in the shadow of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Johnny Depp and Julia Roberts respectively. While James is slowly and steadily making a name for herself with roles in Downton Abbey, and Wrath of the Titans, if done well her role as Cinderella will propel her into stardom. Let’s hope this starlet’s fairy godmother gives her enough magic for her career to last long past midnight.