CINDERELLA And INTO THE WOODS: The End Of Happy Endings?

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Fairy Tales are big business at the minute. Alice In Wonderland, Snow White and The Huntsman, Oz The Great and Powerful were all hugely successful, raking-in serious green at the box office (although Bryan Singer’s Jack The Giant Slayer beefed-it like an over-weight buffalo, and Mirror Mirror didn’t really shine).

Disney is doing what it does best: knock-out seriously slick family films based on pre-existing material (both with all-star casts). This time they’re returning to Cinderella and adapting Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods (check out these new first images).

Kenneth Branagh is calling the shots on Cinderella, with Lily James playing the titular heroine, Game Of Thrones star Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Cate Blanchett as one mean stepmother, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother (presumably quirky and bizarrely dressed), Stellan Skarsgård (as Cinder’s papa) and Branagh favourite Derek Jacobi as the King.

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Meanwhile, Rob Marshall marshals the musical to the screen, scoring the likes of Meryl Streep as the Witch, Emily Blunt, the sleazily sycophantic James Corden (fittingly playing a master-baker), Twilighter Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine as Prince Charming and Johnny Depp as the big bad wolf.

It’ll be interesting to see if audiences will still be attracted to these tales. They’re deeply ingrained into our psyche, but we might be hitting saturation point. These stories are now being re-jigged for television on a weekly basis and a glut of movies isn’t going to help matters. Still, they’re making bank and pleasing audiences…for now.