'Cinderella' trailer: How does the fairy tale fit our time?

The new film version of 'Cinderella' stars 'Downton Abbey' actress Lily James as the title character, actress Cate Blanchett as her stepmother, and Richard Madden of 'Game of Thrones' as the prince. 'Cinderella' opens this March.

A new trailer has been released for the upcoming live-action adaptation of “Cinderella.”

Downton Abbey” actress Lily James plays the protagonist, while Cate Blanchett of the “Hobbit” films portrays her stepmother (named Lady Tremaine, according to E!, as in the 1950 Disney animated film), “Game of Thrones” actor Richard Madden plays the prince of the kingdom, and Helena Bonham Carter of “The Lone Ranger” plays Cinderella’s fairy godmother. James’ “Downton Abbey” co-star Sophie McShera joins her in the film as one of Cinderella’s stepsisters, Drizella, while “The Borgias” actress Holliday Grainger portrays the other stepsister, Anastasia.

The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who in addition to directing and starring in such Shakespeare films as 1996’s “Hamlet” and 1993’s “Much Ado About Nothing” has recently helmed such films as 2014’s “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” and 2011’s “Thor.”

In the trailer, Cinderella’s mother (“Captain America: The First Avenger” actress Hayley Atwell) tells her when Cinderella is young, “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer. Have courage and be kind.”

Soon after Cinderella’s father’s death, Lady Tremaine makes her stepdaughter’s station clear.

“Madam will do,” Lady Tremaine tells Cinderella when Cinderella calls her “Stepmother.” 

The clip also shows Cinderella’s first meeting with the prince while riding.

“Never mind what they call me,” she says when he asks for her name.

Branagh discussed the ball scene specifically when interviewed about the movie for E!. 

“Life can be pretty rough sometimes and it's a wonderful thing to be able to invite the world to the ball," he said. "And then, from the inside, we've given it a contemporary feel that is human and humane and strangely enough, not built around the idea that Cinderella's life depends on finding a man or things, like clothes or a title, or just hoping this magic will come along. It's much more about who she is, what she feels about herself, and taking that kind of sort of spiritual cue to make it refreshing in a contemporary way.” 

He also discussed the place of otherworldly elements in the story in an interview with the website Collider

“I wanted it to feel fresh,” Branagh said of the story. “I wanted it to feel very contemporary.  I wanted it to feel very direct, but I also wanted it to have its classical roots, in a world and period that’s some distance from us: enough distance to accept some magic.” 

“Cinderella” opens on March 13.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.