By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 18, 2011 at 1:23AM
For smaller independent producers, the problem with your long-atttached star suddenly generating new heat is that they're flooded with new offers; bigger films, more tempting films. As such, it can be hard to keep their interest -- Carey Mulligan, for instance, dropped out of British indie "This Beautiful Fantastic" in favor of "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" after "An Education" blew up. That same issue now faces Iain Softley and his psychodrama "Trap for Cinderella."
The project, based on the novel by "A Very Long Engagement" writer Sebastian Japrisot, involves a girl, Micky, who wakes up badly burned after a fire in which her best friend, Do, died. It was formally announced back in November, with rising stars Felicity Jones and Imogen Poots set to take the two leads, and filming was meant to kick off in February. However, it being March, the film clearly hasn't gotten underway, and it's likely that the heat behind its two lead actresses may have caused the problems.
Jones was a contender for the lead in "Snow White and the Huntsman" which was eventually taken by Kristen Stewart, but really broke out at Sundance with her turn in Drake Doremus' "Like Crazy," and she's been working on David Hare's "Page Eight," and the comedy "Cheerful Weather for the Wedding" in the last few months, while Poots has used her buzz from her role in this summer's "Fright Night" to land gigs in "A Late Quartet," "The Laureate" and "Hello Darkness," so it seems likely that scheduling conflicts ruled the stars out. The good news, however, is that Softley's been able to recast, with two actresses that are equally talented, albeit less known, for the moment at least.
Baz Bamigboye reports that Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach have signed on to the film, to replace Jones and Poots respectively. Neither are household names at present, but both have been on our radar for a while, and we're sure it won't be long before both are huge stars. Middleton broke through as the luminous lead in the horror-comedy "Tormented"; the film itself wasn't much cop, but her star quality shone through. She followed it up with a role in last year's Cannes flick "Chatroom," and with an excellent performance in the British gem "Skeletons," and, although this is easily her highest profile lead to date, it's bound to be the first of many.
Roach is equally buzzy right now; a recent graduate of legendary acting school RADA, she's mostly worked on TV, with roles in hotly-tipped upcoming dramas "Candy Cabs" and "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher," and an excellent performance on the BBC's "Being Human." But her major break was being cast as the younger equivalent of Meryl Streep's Margaret Thatcher in upcoming biopic "The Iron Lady." Being put alongside a legend like Streep is a testament to the skills that she's already displayed, and again, we're sure that she'll be a fixture in years to come.
So what the film has lost in marquee value, it more than makes up for in potential. While we're not unreserved fans of Softley's work, aside from the underrated "The Wings of the Dove," his script here is strong, suggesting a fairly gripping "Black Swan"-style melodrama. Filming's meant to begin next month, so there's only a small delay in production -- we imagine it'll hit theaters some time in 2012.