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First look at Disney's live-action 'Cinderella' -- PHOTO

Well, that’s one way to get to the ball on time.

Principal photography on Disney’s upcoming live-action Cinderella has just begun in London — and as this first-look photo proves, this might not be your grandma’s version of the classic fairy tale. The film, directed by Kenneth Branagh, stars Downton Abbey‘s Lily James as the titular heroine, Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother, Helen Bonham Carter as her quirky fairy godmother, and Game of Thrones‘ Richard Madden as her Prince Charming.

The story largely follows Disney’s 1950 cartoon adaptation, with a few twists — in this version, for instance, Cinderella and the Prince meet before that fateful ball, though he fibs and tells her that he’s a palace employee. (Shades of Aladdin — and Ever After?)

Branagh praised his cast in a statement released today, especially its young romantic leads: “With Lily James we have found our perfect Cinderella,” he said. “She combines knockout beauty with intelligence, wit, fun and physical grace. Her Prince is being played by Richard Madden, a young actor with incredible power and charisma. He is funny, smart and sexy and a great match for Cinderella.”

Set your clocks for midnight… plus one and a half years: The film hits theaters March 13, 2015.

'Cinderella': Director Kenneth Branagh previews his plan for the classic fairy tale at Disney's D23

There aren’t exactly a lack of Cinderella adaptations. From the musical versions to Disney’s animated take, even the live-action Drew Barrymore re-telling, everyone has their favorite.

Disney wants to add one more to the slate, and called on Thor director Kenneth Branagh to bring the impoverished, unlucky heroine to the screen once more. Fans attending Disney’s D23 Expo on Saturday got a chance to see a pre-taped segment with Branagh, who teased audiences with his plans for the film and the story and how he plans to honor the beloved animated classic.
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Casting Net: Keira Knightley heads to 1920s New York; Plus, Elizabeth Banks joins Beach Boys biopic, Martin Starr meets 'Veronica Mars,' more

• Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina) is attached to produce and star in an adaptation of Suzanne Rindell’s The Other Typist for Fox Searchlight. Set in 1923, the story follows Rose, a typist for the New York City Police Department. She’s old-fashioned and set in her ways till she befriends the new woman in the office, Odalie, who is glamorous and modern and loves to have fun at speakeasies. But Rose gets a little obsessed, hence the comparisons to The Talented Mr. Ripley. There’s no director attached yet. Knightley will be appearing next alongside Chris Pine in Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan (in theaters December 25), and with Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine in Can a Song Save Your Life. [THR]
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Casting Net: Helena Bonham Carter cast as Cinderella's fairy godmother; Plus, Anne Hathaway, more

• Helena Bonham Carter will play the part of the fairy godmother in Kenneth Branagh’s live-action adaptation of Cinderella. According to reports, this is a slight re-imagining of the classic character and will find Bonham Carter in disguise as a beggar at first. In the oh-too-predictable version of the world, Bonham Carter would have been the wicked stepmother, and Cate Blanchett would have been the fairy godmother. Whether it’s Branagh, Disney, or the actresses (especially Bonham Carter) looking to branch out a little, we’re pleasantly surprised by the news. The project is set to begin its shoot this fall in London.

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Casting Net: Tim Burton adds Krysten Ritter to 'Big Eyes'; Plus, 'Downton Abbey's' Dan Stevens, more

Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 may be over, but lead actress and television veteran Krysten Ritter isn’t letting that get in the way of her career. She’s been cast in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes alongside Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz to play Margaret Keane’s (Adams) supportive friend. Ritter is currently filming the comedy Search Party with Alison Brie and Adam Pally. [Deadline]

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Casting Net: Drew Barrymore to reunite with Adam Sandler; Plus, Emma Watson will not be the next Cinderella, Jude Law, more

• Drew Barrymore is set to re-team with Adam Sandler for a new comedy about Jim and Lauren, who go on a blind date and then somehow get stuck at a resort with children from previous marriages. The two starred together in 1998′s delightful Wedding Singer and 2004′s could-have-been-worse 50 First Dates. Despite Sandler’s recent slate of films, Barrymore does have a solid track record of bringing some heart to his comedies, so we’ll remain cautiously optimistic about the still-untitled project. Frequent Sandler collaborator Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer) will direct. [Variety]

• Lynne Ramsay’s Jane Got a Gun had some major casting shifts Tuesday. The highly anticipated Western stars Natalie Portman as Jane Hammond, who has no choice but to ask an ex-lover to help defend her farm from the gang out to kill her husband. Originally, Michael Fassbender was set to play Hammond’s ex, with Joel Edgerton as the villain. The latest news is that Fassbender has left the project, Edgerton will now play the ex-lover, and Jude Law (who starred with Portman in Closer) has stepped into the villain role. The X-Men: Days of Future Past shooting schedule is reportedly why Fassbender had to exit the project, but if you were really hoping to seeing him and Portman share the screen, you still have that Terrence Malick project to look forward to…assuming neither of them end up on the cutting room floor. [THR]

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Casting Net: Emma Watson in talks to play Cinderella; Plus Gary Oldman, David Lynch, and more

• Emma Watson might get the princess treatment in Kenneth Branagh’s live action adaptation of Cinderella for Disney. Cate Blanchett has already been cast as the wicked stepmother. Watson is only in early talks at this point, so although it seems like the shoe fits, it might be best not to get too attached to the idea of her as Cinderella.  [Variety]

• Gary Oldman has signed on to join the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, to play Dreyfus – the leader of the resistance efforts. EW previously reported Jason Clarke‘s (Zero Dark Thirty) casting and the news that Andy Serkis will reprise his role as Caesar, the leader of the apes. Oldman is also currently working on the RoboCop remake and Paranoia. [Deadline]

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Cate Blanchett in talks for 'Cinderella'

Cate Blanchett is in talks to play the Evil Stepmother in Disney’s live-action Cinderella movie. Entertainment Weekly has confirmed a report from The Wrap that the Oscar-winner is poised to star as the cruel widow who favors her own two selfish daughters over her beautiful stepdaughter, Cinderella. No one else has been cast yet, but Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) is directing a revised script from Chris Weitz (About a Boy).

Read more:
The fairest of them all: Which actress should get a shot at playing fairy tale heroine?

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