'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.

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