‘Cinderella,’ the first-ever live action feature inspired by the classic fairytale, has begun principal photography in London, the romance fantasy’s studio, Walt Disney Pictures, has confirmed. The film is being helmed by ‘Thor’ director, Kenneth Branagh, and stars Lily James in the title role. She’s joined by Richard Madden as the Prince; Cate Blanchett as Cinderella’s stepmother, Lady Tremaine; Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother; and Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera will star as Cinderella’s stepsisters, Anastasia and Drisella.

Production of the romance fantasy will take place at Pinewood Studios and additional locations throughout England. ‘Cinderella’ will be distributed in theaters on March 13, 2015 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

The following synopsis for ‘Cinderella’ has been released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures:

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.

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.

Of the live-action film adaptation, Branagh said: “It is impossible to think of Cinderella without thinking of Disney and the timeless images we’ve all grown up watching. And those classic moments are irresistible to a filmmaker. With Lily James we have found our perfect Cinderella. 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.”

Written by: Karen Benardello

Disney’s Live Action Cinderella Begins Principal Photography in London

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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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