Though we hadn’t heard anything since the start of the year, it seems that Disney are still moving ahead with their live action Cinderella.
Originating as a script by Aline Brosh McKenna, the film attracted Mark Romanek to attach himself as a director and then underwent a rewrite by Chris Weitz.
The next piece of the puzzle to click into place will be the casting, and as The Wrap are reporting, Cate Blanchett is currently negotiating for the role of Cinderella’s stepmother. In the animated film she is known as Lady Tremaine.
McKenna seems to have a taste for such stories about young women having their self worth crushed by older women – The Devil Wears Prada – but who find some kind of reinvention with the help of a glamorous frock – 27 Dresses, or indeed The Devil Wears Prada. I Don’t Know How She Does It was something of a Cinderella story too, if you flip some of the conventional representations about.
As for Weitz, his last movie, A Better Life, grounded some of the same basic themes in the story of an illegal immigrant who landscapes a mansion in LA.
I’m fascinated to see what they might have come up with, together, when retelling this tale. Hopefully they’ll have somehow addressed the fact that Cinderella “wins” in the original because she looks great in an expensive dress, not to mention that what she “wins” is not much more than the affections of a rich fella she’s hardly met.
Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Malificent both took their basic design cues from the studio’s animated versions of the same stories, and it seems like a safe bet to assume Cinderella will do the same. Romanek is an incredibly accomplished visualist and, referencing the cartoon or not, I’m sure he’ll create images that work just brilliantly.
Here’s the animated version of Lady Tremaine.
And here’s Cate Blanchett.
Romanek and co. have got some work to do there, I think.
The animated Cinderella is available now on a brilliant Blu-ray ‘Diamond Edition’, both in the UK and the US. I think this new version sorts out the various colour problems with the previous DVD transfer pretty nicely – though film grain purists are likely to quabble, this incredibly polished, popping version of the film is what we’d get if the cels were scanned directly into a digital environment.