Richard Madden, Game of Thrones’ King of the North Robb Stark, has been cast as Prince Charming in Disney’s live-action retelling of the Cinderella fairy-tale. A few days ago, Lily James (Wrath of the Titans, Downton Abbey) was announced as the actress to try on Cinderella’s tiny glass slippers. The other major Cinderella cast member announced so far is Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator), who’ll play the evil Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother — perhaps with shades of Queen Elizabeth I?
Cinderella follows in the (sizable) footsteps of other fairy-tales that have reached the world’s screens in recent years: Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010), starring Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, grossed $1.02 billion worldwide. Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror (2012) was a box office disappointment in North America, but this comic version of the Snow White tale starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, and Armie Hammer performed passably well internationally, cuming at $166.17 million globally.
Also in 2012 there were two other Snow White adaptations: Rupert Sanders costly ($170m) but financially successful ($396.59 million worldwide) Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, and Sam Claflin; and Pablo Berger’s well-received Blancanieves, set in the world of (female) bullfighting, and starring Maribel Verdú and Macarena García.
Apparently inspired by a Chinese folk tale — hence the prizing of small female feet — Cinderella has been adapted to the screen countless times. Those include a couple of early silent versions in the 1910s starring Florence La Badie (1911) and Mary Pickford (1914); First Love (1939), with Deanna Durbin as the waif who wins the heart of princely Robert Stack; Disney’s animated 1950 feature; The Glass Slipper (1954), with Leslie Caron and Michael Wilding; and the musical The Slipper and the Rose (1976), with Gemma Craven and Richard Chamberlain.
More recent takes on the classic story include a handful of modernized versions: Ever After (1998), starring Drew Barrymore; A Cinderella Story (2004), with Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray; and Another Cinderella Story (2008), with Selena Gomez and Drew Seeley.
Additionally, Julie Andrews played the role on television, in Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Cinderella (1957).
To be directed by Kenneth Branagh (Henry V, Hamlet) from a screenplay by Chris Weitz (director of The Golden Compass, The Twilight Saga: New Moon), and Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), the latest Cinderella should be hitting the world’s screens some time in 2014.
Also opening next year is Robert Stromberg’s Maleficent, a reworking of Sleeping Beauty, with Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, and Elle Fanning. Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth should also be returning for Snow White and the Huntsman 2, though the SWATH sequel will open only in 2015.
Richard Madden Game of Thrones photo: HBO.