- This article is about the 2015 live-action film. For the 1950 animated film, see Cinderella (1950 film).
Ella (Eloise Webb) lives with her wealthy parents on a beautiful estate in a peaceful kingdom. From a young age, she is taught by her mother (Hayley Atwell) to believe in the existence of magic, allowing her to befriend many animals on the estate, particularly the mice. Everything is perfect until her mother contracts an illness and dies. On her deathbed, she makes Ella promise that she will always have courage and show kindness to others. Years later, when Ella (Lily James) is a teenager, her father (Ben Chaplin) marries Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett), the widow of an old acquaintance, who has two daughters of her own, Drisella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holliday Grainger). Ella welcomes her stepfamily warmly, despite the stepsisters' unpleasant attitudes and her needing to protect her mouse friends from her stepmother's cat, Lucifer.
Soon after, Ella's father goes abroad on business, promising his stepdaughters gifts of luxury. His own daughter merely asks for the first branch that brushes against his shoulder on the way. Sadly, he becomes ill and also dies. This new loss results in Lady Tremaine revealing her true cold, cruel and jealous nature. Taking advantage of Ella's hospitality, she persuades her to give up her room for Drizella and Anastasia, presumably temporarily, while Ella retires to the attic with only her mouse friends to keep her company. Not long after her father's death, Lady Tremaine dismisses the servants, leaving only Ella to do their work. Relegated to nothing more than a servant, she is subjected to cruel mistreatment by her stepmother and stepsisters. She is forbidden to eat with them, and spitefully renamed "Cinderella" after waking covered with soot from the fireplace.
Crushed by their cruelty, Ella goes for a ride into the woods, where she encounters a hunting party. She meets one of the hunters (Richard Madden), who claims to be an apprentice named Kit who lives in the palace. Unknown to her, he is actually the only son of the land's dying king (Derek Jacobi). Despite never learning her name, Kit (a nickname given to him by his father) is enchanted by Ella's charm, kindness, and unique outlook on life and becomes infatuated with her. Upon learning that he has little time left, the King insists that Kit finds a bride at an upcoming ball. Despite the law saying that he must marry a princess, Kit can't get over the mystery girl, and deals with his father into letting every eligible maiden in the land attend.
When the ball is announced, the Tremaine family is ecstatic at the prospect of marrying into royalty. However, when Lady Tremaine refuses to buy Ella a new dress, Ella fixes up an old dress of her mother's with help from the mice. On the night of the ball, Ella tries to join her stepfamily on the way out. But Lady Tremaine, claiming that her mere presence will disgrace them, leads her daughters into ripping up the dress before leaving without her. This seemingly breaks Ella's spirit, and she runs into the garden in tears. She encounters an old beggar woman, who reveals herself to be her Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter). She subsequently turns a pumpkin into a magnificent carriage, four mice into horses, two lizards into footmen, and a goose into a coachman. She then transforms Ella's dress into a gorgeous blue gown, complete with a delicate pair of glass shoes before sending her on her way with the warning that the spell only lasts until midnight.
At the ball, the entire court is entranced by Ella, especially Kit. She wins the coveted first dance with him, whose true identity she's pleasantly surprised to learn. This irritates the Grand Duke (Stellan Skarsgård), who secretly promised Kit to a princess — a fact that Lady Tremaine overhears. After dancing, Ella and Kit tour the palace and grounds together, slowly falling in love. But before he can learn her name, the clock strikes 11:59, forcing her to flee and accidentally dropping one of her glass shoes at the palace stairs in the process. She manages to get away before the stroke of midnight and hides the other shoe in her room as a memento.
Soon after, the King dies, but not before giving his son permission to find his true love. Once it's announced that every maiden in the kingdom is to try on the shoe, Ella excitedly goes to her room to get the other slipper, only to find her stepmother waiting for her with it in her hand. Lady Tremaine, having figured out her identity from her attitude after the ball, demands that Ella make her the head of the royal household once she becomes queen. She also demands that Ella ensure Drisella and Anastasia get proper husbands as well. Ella refuses, admitting that she regrets not protecting her father, but that she would protect the Prince no matter what becomes of her, Lady Tremaine she smashes the slipper against the wall and locks her in the attic. She then brings the shattered shoe and the identity of the mystery girl to the Grand Duke, and strikes a deal with him in exchange, which would reward her with title of a countess and worthy husbands for her daughters. The Duke takes the shattered shoe to Kit, hoping to convince him to forget the mystery girl, but this makes him even more determined than ever to find his true love.
The Grand Duke and the captain of the guards (Nonso Anozie) lead a garrison to try the remaining shoe on all the maidens in the land, all of whom are rejected by its magic, before arriving at the Tremaine estate. When the shoe rejects both stepsisters, they turn to leave, only to hear Ella singing ("Lavender's Blue"), thanks to the mice opening her attic window. The Grand Duke tries to leave anyway, but one of the men reveals himself to be Kit in disguise, and demands that the captain investigate the sound. Once Ella is found, Lady Tremaine tries to forbid her from trying on the shoe, but is overruled by the captain. Ella curtly tells Lady Tremaine that she is not and never will be her mother before leaving the attic. She and Kit are finally reunited. Sure enough, the shoe fits perfectly and the stepsisters both plead for forgiveness. Ella graciously forgives her stepmother and leaves with Kit. Lady Tremaine later departs the kingdom with her daughters and the Grand Duke.
At their wedding, Kit and Ella are crowned as the new king and queen. The Fairy Godmother narrates that they become the land's most beloved monarchs, ruling with the courage and kindness Ella has promised her mother, and they lived happily ever after.
* Credit Order
- Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine
- Lily James as Ella (Cinderella)
- Richard Madden as Prince Charming
- Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother
- Holliday Grainger as Anastasia Tremaine
- Sophie McShera as Drisella Tremaine
- Stellan Skarsgård as the Grand Duke
- Derek Jacobi as the King
- Nonso Anozie as Captain
- Hayley Atwell as Cinderella's Mother
- Ben Chaplin as Cinderella's Father
- Jana Perez as Princess Chelina
After the success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Disney began developing a new adaptation of Cinderella in May 2010. Director Mark Romanek was initially going to direct the movie, however, he dropped out on January 9, 2013 due to creative differences. On February 1, 2013, Kenneth Branagh (Thor) stepped in as the new director. The screenplay is co-written by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) and Chris Weitz (The Twilight Saga: New Moon) and will star Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine.
The role of Cinderella was originally offered to former Harry Potter star, Emma Watson, but she eventually dropped out because she's starring in another fairy tale project, Beauty and the Beast with Guillermo del Toro directing it. After Watson left, other actresses such as Saiorse Ronan, Alicia Vikander, Gabriella Wilde, Imogen Poots, Bella Heathcote, Margot Robbie and Lily James were all considered for the role. Ultimately, the role was given to Lily James (Downtown Abbey) on April 30, 2013.
On May 8, 2013, it was announced that Game of Thrones star Richard Madden was cast as Prince Charming. In June 2013, Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera joined the film as Anastasia and Drisella. Later that month, Helena Bonham Carter was cast as the Fairy Godmother. On July 8, 2013 it was announced that Stellan Skarsgård was in talks for the role of the Grand Duke. On August 19, 2013, Hayley Atwell revealed that she would be playing Cinderella's biological mother who dies when Cinderella is five years old.
Production on the film started in London in September 2013 and post-production began in December 2013. It was released on March 13, 2015.
The first teaser trailer is attached to screenings of Maleficent.
Trailers and Clips
- The lead role was offered to Emma Watson but she declined. She was later cast as Belle in Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
- This is the third of many live-action remakes of classic Disney animated films released during the 21st century, the others being Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and the upcoming movies The Jungle Book in 2016, and Beauty and the Beast in 2017. Others considered to be in late production are: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 101 Dalmatians, The Little Mermaid and Dumbo.
- Actors Richard Madden who played the prince and Nonso Anozie who played the Captain, both worked on HBO's Game of Thrones, but their characters never interact.
- In the ballroom scene, there are various one-colored dresses with similar color patterns as those of Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, Belle and Tiana.
- The doors of Cinderella's home have few Hidden Mickeys.
- The famous painting "The Swing" features a girl on a swing in a garden and she loses her shoe. That is reenacted while Cinderella is in the secret garden with the prince.
- Logo Variation: At the beginning of this feature, the 2012 3D variation of the Disney logo from the 3D releases, like Brave, and all releases of Planes: Fire & Rescue is shown, but the whole logo fades to the opening shot at the end, rather than fading to black.
- Co-stars Richard Madden and Lily James will co-star once again in Romeo and Juliet, directed by Cinderella director Kenneth Branagh. The show will be live on stage in London in 2016.