Filming Begins for Disney’s Live-Action ‘Cinderella’!

Walt Disney Pictures announced recently that principal photography has begun at Pinewood Studios in London, on “Cinderella,” Disney’s first-ever live action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale.

Cinderella-LJames

Directed by Academy Award-nominee Kenneth Branagh (“Thor”), the film stars Lily James (TV’s “Downton Abbey,” “Wrath of the Titans”) in the title role, Richard Madden (TV’s “Game of Thrones”) as the Prince, Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett (“The Aviator”) as the infamous stepmother Lady Tremaine, and Academy Award-nominee Helena Bonham Carter (“Alice in Wonderland”) as the Fairy Godmother. Holliday Grainger (“Anna Karenina”) and Sophie McShera (“Downton Abbey”) play Ella’s stepsisters Anastasia and Drisella, respectively. Stellan Skarsgard (“Marvel’s The Avengers”) and Nonso Anozie (“Game of Thrones”) play the Arch Grand Duke and the Prince’s loyal friend, the Captain. Tony-Award-winner Derek Jacobi portrays the King.

“Cinderella” is produced by Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: First Class”), Allison Shearmur (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”), David Barron (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”), from a screenplay by Chris Weitz (“About a Boy”).

The filmmaking team includes three-time Academy Award-winning production designer Dante Ferretti (“Sweeney Todd”), three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell (“Shakespeare in Love”), director of photography Haris Zambarloukos (“Thor”) and Academy Award-winning editor Martin Walsh (“Chicago”).

The timeless story of “Cinderella” dates back to 1697 when first created by Charles Perrault, although it truly came to life for millions all over the world in 1950 with Walt Disney’s celebrated animated feature.

Director Kenneth Branagh says: “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.”

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.

Production on “Cinderella” will take place at Pinewood Studios and locations throughout England.

“Cinderella” will be released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures starting March 13, 2015.

A tale as old as time in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ 3D!

One of the most popular and enduring romantic adventures the world has ever known became one of the most ambitious and entertaining animated motion pictures ever brought to the screen with Walt Disney Pictures’ 30th full-length animated feature, ”Beauty and the Beast” which is coming to Philippine theaters for the first time in 3D.

This classic fairy tale about a beautiful young girl and her encounter with an enchanted beast has long fascinated and intrigued storytellers, filmmakers and their audiences. Through the artistry and imagination of the Disney creative team, an inspired song score by two Academy Award–winning songwriters and the contributions of an enormously talented vocal ensemble, this age-old fantasy took on exciting new dimensions that are only possible through the magic of animation.

 

The “Beauty and the Beast” story is indeed “a tale as old as time” with variations on the central theme going as far back as Greek mythology. In 1550, Italian author Giovan Straparalo wrote the first account of the story as it is generally known. The tale grew in popularity during the 18th century with books by French authors Madam Le Prince De Beaumont and Madame Gabrielle di Villeneuve. In 1946, acclaimed French director Jean Cocteau used cinematic imagery and lyrical expression to bring this story imaginatively to the big screen (“La Belle et la Bete”).

 

“Doing your own version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is as much a tradition as is the story itself,” says producer Don Hahn. “Part of the fun is that each generation and culture adapts this story to be its own. The themes––you can’t judge a book by its cover, and beauty is only skin deep–– are as relevant today as ever.”

 

Screenwriter Linda Woolverton agrees, “The lessons of this story are truly timeless, especially for kids growing up today. It tells them to look beyond the surface and beyond materialism and that what is in their hearts and souls are the things that really matter.”

 

The release of “Beauty and the Beast” in 3D comes at a time when both the art of animation and the 3D process are enjoying their greatest popularity.

 

All of the filmmakers and artists who have been involved with the 3D transformation of “Beauty and the Beast” are in unanimous agreement that they take pride in being part of the great legacy of this iconic film. As stereographer Robert Neuman says, “It’s amazing to be able to take these great movies like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Lion King’ and give audiences a new way to see them again. Even if they’re seeing it for the first time, or the one-hundredth time, this is a whole new experience for audiences.”

 

“It’s a privilege, really, and an honor to be able to bring this movie out,” says Don Hahn. “‘Beauty and the Beast’ has always been special in the hearts of the audience. From the first sneak previews that we did at the New York Film Festival, when it was still unfinished, to the original release, it’s always received a really warm reception. It’s great to go back and relive it now.

 

Opening soon across the Philippines, “Beauty and the Beast” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

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