Downton Abbey's Lily James has just been cast as Cinderella in Disney's live action adaptation of the iconic fairytale. The English actress, who was best known for her work on the BBC period show, will be joining Cate Blanchett in the film. Blanchett plays the evil stepmother in the film, which will be directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh.
There was a lot of casting turmoil surrounding this film, and at one point, almost 10 actresses were up for the part of Cinderella. It was announced a while back that Emma Watson had been offered the lead role, but she ended up turning it down. Then, several other up and coming young actresses were in contention for the part, but Disney either felt that they weren't right or they ended up passing on the project as well.
Now that the lead role has finally been cast, the studio will likely start doing chemistry tests for their Prince Charming. If they go with the same method they used to cast Cinderella, they may be aiming for an up and coming actor to play the Prince.
The film doesn't currently have a release date, but is expected to begin filming later this year for a possible 2014 release. The success of the recent Snow White films has proven that the a re-imagined adaptation of a fairy tale could bode well with the public if the film is good. Disney's certainly hoping that's the case, especially as they also have Angelina Jolie's 'Maleficent' coming up next year.