“Downton Abbey” star Lily James is moving to the silver screen, Disney announcing this week that the small screen actress is set to star in a live-action version of the famous fairytale "Cinderella."
The 24-year-old, who has played the role of Lady Rose MacClare in the hit iTV drama since 2012, recently secured the lead role of housemaid turned princess, co-starring with Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, who will play the villainous evil stepmother, Variety confirmed Tuesday.
“Cinderella” will be based on the classic animated version of the studio’s same film and is set to be directed by Kenneth Branagh. Director Chris Weitz, who is familar with adaptions after directing the smash blockbuster "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," is on board to write the film’s script.
Emma Watson, 23, was originally slated to star in the flick but dropped out due to unspecified deal complications in March. The “Harry Potter” actress won’t have a chance to slip on the story’s classic glass slipper, but she will have the chance to dance with a beast; Watson is being eyed to star in the Guillermo del Toro version of "Beauty and the Beast,” Variety reports.
“Cinderella" is one of many recent live-action adaptions of well-loved Disney classics, joining the ranks of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Angelina Jolie’s upcoming take on “Sleeping Beauty,” titled ‘Maleficient,” based off the actions of the film’s villain of the same name.
Disney is slating the film, currently in preproduction, for a fall 2014 theater release.