First Look: Disney’s Live-Action ‘Cinderella’ Begins Filming

Lily James as Cinderella, and her 1950 animated counterpart (Photos: Disney)

Walt Disney Pictures has begun filming its live-action film adaption of the classic fairy tale “Cinderella,” and is giving fans a first look at the latest incarnation of the rags-to-riches heroine.

Actress Lily James, best known for her role as Lady Rose McClare on “Downtown Abbey,” will eventually slip her foot into the famed glass slipper, but in the first photo below, the 24-year-old Brit tries a galloping steed on for size.

Disney first adapted the 17th century German folk tale in 1950, when the studio released its animated musical “Cinderella,” which is widely regarded as the story’s definitive telling. And while this photo doesn’t reveal whether director Kenneth Branagh will match or stray from the cartoon version’s tone, a lengthy synopsis courtesy of the Mouse House reveals some familiar and unfamiliar details:

“The story of ‘Cinderella’ follows the fortunes of young Ella whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother. Keen to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drisella into the family home. But, when Ella’s father suddenly and 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 abuse her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an employee at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears as if 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.’ Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand as a kindly beggar woman steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella’s life forever.”

“Cinderella” will costar Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) as the Prince, Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. The film is slated for release on March 13, 2015.

Lily James as Cinderella in Disney's upcoming live-action adaptation (Photo: Disney)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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