'Downton Abbey' Star Lily James to Become 'Cinderella'
Director Kenneth Branagh's search for his Cinderella is over as he taps rising star Lily James to be the Disney princess. Disney has announced that the English actress, whose credits include "Wrath of the Titans" and "Downton Abbey", will be joining Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett in the upcoming film.
James is replacing "The Bling Ring" actress Emma Watson, who was previously attached to the project, but decided to exit the project earlier this year. Following Watson's departure, several big names were rumored to be considered for the title role, including Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander, Margot Robbie and Bella Heathcote.
Additionally, the film was intended to be helmed by Mark Romanek, who served behind the lens for 2002's "One Hour Photo" and 2010's "Never Let Me Go". However, due to creative differences, Romanek left the project, which then saw the arrival of Branagh, who directed "Thor" and "My Week with Marilyn", as its new director.
Blanchett is tapped to play Cinderella's evil stepmother in the new Disney adaptation, which is penned by "The Devil Wears Prada" scribe Aline Brosh McKenna. Serving as the producers are Allison Shearmur, David Barron and Simon Kinberg. The film is reportedly due out next year.
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