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Casting Watch: Helena Bonham Carter Joins Blanchett, James and Madden in Kenneth Branagh's 'Cinderella' UPDATE

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio | Thompson on Hollywood June 21, 2013 at 11:50AM

UPDATE: Helena Bonham Carter has been cast as the fairy godmother in Kenneth Branagh's live-action version of "Cinderella" for Disney. Bonham Carter joins Cate Blanchett (playing the wicked stepmother), Lily James of "Downton Abbey" in the title role, and Richard Madden of "Game of Thrones" as the prince.
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Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter

UPDATE: Helena Bonham Carter has been cast as the fairy godmother in Kenneth Branagh's live-action version of "Cinderella" for Disney. Bonham Carter joins Cate Blanchett (playing the wicked stepmother), Lily James of "Downton Abbey" in the title role, and Richard Madden of "Game of Thrones" as the prince. 

Yet the question remains: Does the world really need another "Cinderella," or "Annie," or "Oz" installment?

24-year-old James (who plays Lady Rose MacClare on "Downton") won the lead part after a competitive casting search; clearly, Jon Favreau's beefy security guard in "Iron Man 3" isn't the only one watching a lot of the period PBS series.

Producers are Simon Kinberg, David Barron and Allison Shearmur. Branagh, whose pedigree boasts screen adaptations of Shakespeare such as "Hamlet" and "As You Like It" as well as 2011's "Thor," stepped in earlier this year after "Never Let Me Go" director Mark Romanek left the project.

This article is related to: Downton Abbey, Walt Disney Pictures, Kenneth Branagh, Cinderella


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.