Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Plays It Safer Than ‘Maleficent’

Disney just debuted the first extended trailer at their new Cinderella and from the looks of it, the new film will have all of the magical charm of the original. The classic fairy tale is the latest to get the live-action treatment, following the studio’s recent box office successes, Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent.  

Directed by the Oscar-nominated filmmaker Kenneth Branagh and co-written by Aline Brosh McKenna and Chris Weitz, the upcoming movie stars Downtown Abbey’s Lily James in the titular role. Cate Blanchett plays the wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and Helena Bonham Carter (in an unexpected but surprisingly fitting role) plays Cinderella’s fairy godmother. Game of Thrones alumnus Richard Madden takes on the role of Prince Charming. Nonso Anozie, Hayley Atwell, Ben Chaplin, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, Sophie McShera, and Stellan Skarsgård round out the rest of the cast

In its previous live-action remakes, Disney made a point of putting a new twist on the iconic stories. 2010’s Alice in Wonderland (which also featured Bonham Carter) got a grittier, darker take, thanks to director Tim Burton. This year’s Maleficent chronicled the story of Sleeping Beauty from an alternate perspective. That doesn’t seem to be the case with next year’s Cinderella, which looks to play it safer than its predecessors. As evidenced by the trailer, the upcoming film doesn’t try very hard to distance itself from the original story, instead adhering closely to the fairy tale as we all know it. All of the most familiar moments from the story are chronicled in the 2-minute clip, from the wicked stepmother and stepsisters’ cruel taunting, to the magical appearance of her fairy godmother, to the abandoned glass slipper.

There’s at least one relatively minor but notable difference in the new trailer that sets it apart from Disney’s classic animated film: Viewers get to briefly meet Cinderella’s late mom in a scene early on in the clip, during which she reminds her daughter to “have courage and be kind.” Other than that, the rest of the trailer suggests that the film will remain largely faithful to the fairy tale. Still, there could be more than meets the eye as Branagh himself recently told E! that the film does have “some surprises” in store. While he wouldn’t clarify what exactly they were, he did reveal that audiences should keep an ear out for some of the songs from the original film, which — while not sung by the actors themselves — make their way in eventually.

Regardless of whether or not Cinderella ends up sticking to a more traditional storytelling, there are still plenty of exciting factors about the film, including its stunning cinematography. From the detailed costumes to the lavish settings, there’s certainly no lack of dazzling visuals in the film. The movie also boasts a pretty stellar group of actors, some of whom are already proving their casting to be nothing short of genius. Bonham Carter probably isn’t who many moviegoer initially pictured to take on the role of the wise old godmother, but her quirky take already looks to be unforgettable. Cate Blanchett also makes a big impact as the gloriously evil stepmother. Even from the brief teaser, it’s pretty clear that these two will steal every scene that they’re in.

Cinderella premieres on March 13, 2015.

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