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Cinderella Unenchanted

JA from MNPP here - back at the start of December we took a look at the news that Never Let Me Go and One Hour Photo director Mark Romanek had supposedly set his sights on reimagining Cinderella live-action-style for Disney, with Saoirsie Ronan maybe stepping into the glass slippers, and Cate Blanchett playing the villainous Stepmother. To me this certainly seemed an odd fit for him and I said at the time that, knowing his sordid history with the studio system (woe be The Wolf Man production), I wasn't sure why he was tossing himself back into the belly of the beast.

Well maybe he finally sat down and watched Tarsem's Mirror Mirror because sure enough, cut to a month or so later and he's dropped out of the project because of "differing views on how to tell the story." I guess Disney wasn't keen on having Gus the singing mouse reenact the video for "Closer."

Chris Weitz (About a Boy) wrote the script so my guess is, if he's keen to direct something big like this after the Golden Compass semi-debacle, he's got a shot at the gig, or they'll just hire some boring director-for-hire... but for a moment let's pretend we work at Disney (close your eyes and feel the felt mouse-ears cap on your head, I know you can do it) and it's our job to find the perfect director for a live-action Cinderella. Who do you hire? Imagine what someone with real vision could do --- what would David Cronenberg make that pumpkin carriage look like? Or the scene with the slippers! He'd go all old-school Grimm on it with the foot-goring. Sigh, I dream too big.

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Reader Comments (16)

Joe Wright? Or is that way too close to Hanna? Features the Grimm House and both Cate and Saoirse.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Baz Luhrman!!!

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I like the Joe Wright suggestion.

Ha what I was thinking (this must be Oscar fatigue for sure!) but given that Nathaniel suggested Bigelow for "An invitation to tea", can't we make Michael Haneke adapt this one?

Ha. Or von Trier. They'd make Cate torture Saoirse all right. And that happy ending would be very different from the original story, I'm afraid ;P

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

After making Life of Pi, can't we ask Ang Lee to direct one of these? He'd make a brilliant Maleficient. He cares about his characters and he'd make a brilliant character study of the Sleeping Beauty nemesis.

I was also thinking Kenneth Lonergan or David O'Russell would be good picks for this. They sure lack the action/CGI/visual effects portion of the story, but they'd write a beautiful script full of witty and complicated family dynamics (isn't that what Cinderella is? :P)

Uff, ok if you want Cinderella to still be girly and enchanting, what about François Ozon?

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

David Lynch-how is this even a question?

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

@Jorge I was thinking of David O. Russell too. He would really milk the family dynamics.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Oh my god, I would love to see David Lynch's dark twist on a fairy tale.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercici

Put me down for the Haneke version of this.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthais

Roman Polanski. It would be a claustrophobic tale of repression where the heroine is so totally trapped by the house and her stepmother that she doesn't even realize that her escape is just to another prison, this time a castle. It would be the darkest, most bitter Cinderella ever and it would RULE. Plus, if Carnage showed us nothing else, it proved that the man does love his closed spaces.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Alfonso Cuaron? It might be too dark for Disney and too similar to his reimagining of Harry Potter, but I'd be down for his take.

If the director must be "Disney nice," maybe John Madden.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I'd love to see anything from Aronofsky, to Joe Wright, to Baz, to Fincher

but the idea of David Lynch directing a live-action fairy tale makes me go ballistics and I'd loooove to see that.

What a shame, looking at Blanchett's filmography and her love for great directors I'm assuming Romanek was the main reason for her to sign...

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Jacques Audiard.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Wong Kar Wai. The Prince and Cinderella can spend the whole movie not looking at each other while the evil stepsisters buy their dinner in slow motion. I would pay almost any amount of money to watch this.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe K

This is a blessing in disguise, i hope Blanchett drops out too, since the only reason for her to be in the film has now left the project, and i never wanted her to be in this anyway. Blanchett and Ronan have done this before already, with amazing results, so there is no reason to do it again unless its for Joe Wright's Little Mermaid.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

My immediate response was, of course, Baz.

After reading some of the other suggestions, I also like the idea of Francois Ozon and especially Alfonso Cuaron (A Little Princess is so special among "children's films").

Here's my out-of-left-field suggestion: Drew Barrymore. Whip It was a very good debut, and she's played Cinderella before. I would be interested to see what she would do. Not sure if it'd be any good, but I'd certainly be interested.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Oh my god you guys are amazing. I love all of these answers.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJA

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