Whether we really needed another big-screen Cinderella adaptation is up for discussion, but few would argue that Shakespeare-skewing thesp Kenneth Branagh is a poor choice to tackle the classic fairy tale. His visually sumptuous take, starring Downton Abbey breakout Lily James as the eponymous protagonist, doesn’t open until next March, but with Disney gearing up to release the first trailer for the film tomorrow, the studio has seen fit to sneak a few seconds of footage online.
Though there’s certainly not much in the 15-second teaser, one quickly gets the impression that this Cinderella will be a sizable visual treat, à la Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and (to a lesser degree) Robert Stromberg’s Maleficent. In addition to James, the film stars Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Helena Bonham Carter, Stellan Skarsgård, Nonso Anozie, Derek Jacobi, Hayley Atwell and Ben Chaplin.
Here’s the official plot description, in case you were kept chained under a rock as a child and need a refresher:
The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham-Carter) steps forward and — armed with a pumpkin and a few mice — changes Cinderella’s life forever.
Cinderella will go to the ball on March 13th, 2015.