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William Holden in Picnic

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Bibbidi Bonhamy Boo ♫

I seriously don't know why casting directors exist anymore because there are apparently only 3 actors for every type of role since famous actors are always cast in exactly the same ways. Need an eccentric older British actress to play someone magical? GET HELENA BONHAM CARTER! 

You've probably already heard that everyone's favorite former Victorian china doll turned black arts ghoul turned Burton Queen will play the Fairy Godmother in the new live action Cinderella. (Thankfully this is NOT a musical. I love Helena but I beg her to stop doing musicals!) Somewhere Johnny Depp is grinning like a cheshire cat as they made a blood pact in the early Aughts to never play anything but cartoon characters again! 

Regardless, she'll be great fun in the role and there is a mild twist to this casting actually. For many years now, The King's Speech aside, Helena has been automatically associated with Demented Wickedness. Unless they rethink the whole story this time she's crossed over to the light!

We haven't discussed this film much beyond the casting of Cate Blanchett as Wicked Stepmother which was something of a surprise (if only because it's been a few years since Cate Blanchett was one of the 4 people who were cast in everything without fail) but I'm curious.

Lily James (Downton Abbey) as Cinderella. Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as the Prince. Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey) as Drizella

Kenneth Branagh and his casting director have clearly been watching their tellys since they've pulled from Downton Abbey (twice...and yay on McShera as Drizella!!!) and Game of Thrones (Madden gets a happy ending this time!). Branagh is hit and miss as a director but he started off so strong (Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and Dead Again are all just spirited joys to watch, aren't they?) that I'm always hoping he'll recapture that. But am I the only one who found Lily James almost unbearbably irritating on Downton Abbey? Let's hope that was just her flighty petulant character confusing me!

How long do you suppose Hollywood's recent fascination with fairy tales is going to last?
And if the expiration date is near, which fairy tale do you hope they rethink / revive / regurgitate soon. 

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Reader Comments (21)

Richard Madden is the prettiest man I've ever seen on television.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Helena was the very best in THE WINGS OF THE DOVE. i love it when she plays diabolical. :)

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavis

Have the fucking casting directors forgotten about the greatest actor ever who is still with us...ALBERT FINNEY!

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Totally in love with the casting so far for this film. Well, I don't have much to say regarding Lily James, but Blanchett, Madden, Carter, and even McShera? LOVE.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Love the casting

But Nathaniel: when are you going to make a YES NO MAYBE for the Blue Jasmine trailer?

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

Anyone would be a better choice than the original option. I love Emma Watson wholeheartedly post-Perks and post-Bling, but she's someone who pretty clearly needs a specific character to work with. She does not do well with filling in blank scripts.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Weren't Branagh and Bonham Carter an item at one time? Nice to remain on good enough terms that they can still work together.

My guess is that the next fairy tale wave will be to appeal to the international market. A safe first choice might be Russian fairy tales, with Baba Yaga. I don't think that one has been done much (but haven't been watching all the fairytales) and the imagery seems filmable, the moving house on chicken legs, the fence of skulls, etc.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Manuel -- isn't it too late? I guess i should.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I must be sick because the only thing I can think of looking at this cast, is if Jon Snow will perform some oral sex to Cinderella ;)

And that led to me think that the tale I want to see is The Three Little Pigs, but a version where they're not literally pigs, but more like filthy incestuous guys played by Charlie Hunnam, Alexander Skasgard and one of the Hemsworth brothers (don't care which one) who are being stalked not by a wolf, but by a former lover, a bear.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

They already did Snow White (but we better forget they did), and there's a Sleeping Beauty comming up so there could be a new take on The Little Mermaid, with Glenn Close as the sea witch, Emma Watson as the mermaid, Aaron Tveit as the prince.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVinicius

Okay, I love this cast already.

As long as Kenneth Branagh gets some seriously amazing and tasteful sets and costumes in order (Call Sandy! Milena! Jacqueline! Sarah Greenwood + Katie Spencer!) then this is pretty much a win-win for me. And if he can inject some great humor in it, then even better.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

Let me show you my full support in your complaint. Lazy casting must come to and end at once. Sigh no more ladies, sigh no more...

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Blanchett and Bonham Carter are the only ones I'm familiar with, but I like them so this is promising.

I'm still hoping Joe Wright will get around to that live action Little Mermaid he wanted to make. Imagine the visuals!

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

I don't remember the sory perfectly but I want to see a movie version of Rumpelstiltskin.

And one more of Thumbelina.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Hmm, that's a cool choice for the Godmother. I was thinking Branagh wouldn't be ageist and cast our favorite snarky old lady, Maggie Smith. Or Helen Mirren. Or Imelda Staunton. But I guess this one is busy with another fairytale adaptation ;)

But yes I like this cast. I hope Richard Madden has something to play here, though. Most princes from the Disney canon are such blank pages. Only Eric, John Smith, Alladin and Mulan's beau had some degree of personality.

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

And Rob Marshall snatches another one:

Anna Kendrick is Cinderella in INTO THE WOODS: http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/anna-kendrick-to-play-cinderella-in-rob-marshalls-musical-into-the-woods-20130621?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

I'm suddenly interested in this, thanks to Helena's casting. And I don't mean to nitpick, but it's a misconception that she's only played cartoons post-2000. Check out 'Live from Baghdad,' 'Conversations with Other Women,' 'Enid' and 'Toast' to see her excellent portrayals of less stylized characters. And I can hardly wait to see her take on Elizabeth Taylor, though some may consider her a cartoon...;)

June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

I think the casting has been great so far, except for Lily James who I thought was HORRIBLE on Downton Abbey. Loving the return of Cate Blanchett! And no, it's not too late for a Blue Jasmine yes no maybe so!

June 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I really want to see "Casting By", a documentary about the art of casting that includes interviews with some legendary casting directors as Lynn Stalmaster, Marion Dougherty and Juliet Taylor. Has anyone seen it?

June 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Nathaniel, i too will chime in for the yes no maybe so for the BJ trailer, i really want Cate to drop out of this, when Romanek and Ronan were attached i could see the appeal.

June 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

I've been thinking about the television adaptations of Rodger's and Hammerstein Cinderella recently, and how I think it's time for another. I'm curious how a gay or transgender spin to the story would work out. Seriously. I'll leave it there.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel V

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