D23 Expo: Descriptions Of First Looks At MALEFICENT And CINDERELLA
Disney's live action panel at the D23 Expo is in full swing, and they showed off a behind-the-scenes look at director Kenneth Branagh's (Thor) Cinderella adaptation as well as the first trailer for Maleficent, which stars Angelina Jolie as the titular character.
Disney's live action presentation at the D23 Expo is still ongoing. You can check out the two articles below for details on new footage from Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier that was shown, but after that, they showed off first looks at next year's Angelina Jolie-starrer Maleficent and the Kenneth Branagh-directed Cinderella. A behind-the-scenes reel was shown for the latter (which stars Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden and Helena Bonham Carter), which Bleeding Cool calls on par with Disney's animated adaptation. A trailer for Maleficent was then shown, two descriptions of which you can find below. The film hits theaters July 2nd, 2014, while Cinderella opens March 13th, 2015.
It wasn’t clear before today how closely Branagh was following the template of the Disney animated Cinderella, but the answer now seems to be: pretty closely. They showed off costume tests and behind the scenes footage, and it all seemed in-step with the world evoked in the toon, just that bit less stylised.
After presenting their Cinderella preview, D23 moved onto Maleficent and brought Angelina Jolie on stage to regale the audience with anecdotes about how scary her makeup and costume made her, and how kids were left a little shaken by her. As a result, her own daughter got to play the younger version of Aurora simply because she wasn’t too frightened, being “the only four year old on set that wasn’t terrified.”
The trailer for Maleficent was screened, showing just how scenes from Sleeping Beauty are part of this story. The footage opens with a ceremony celebrating the birth of Princess Aurora, quickly crashed by Maleficent who places a curse on the babe. There were some shots of the fairies, played – I believe – by Juno Temple, Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton. They’ve not only been shrunken by the FX, their proportions have been skewed. I expect this trailer, or something like it, will make its public debut very soon… - Bleeding Cool
To give you some idea of what was shown, it imagines the famous Christening scene of baby Aurora. The three fairies (Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather) fly to the castle, ready to bestow their gifts on the child. As soon as the green fairy, Fauna, is about to present hers, the candles are snuffed out and a dark whirlwind heralds the evil witch herself. “Well, well,” says Jolie, accompanied by a villainous, whispered cackle. Scenes flash forward as we see Aurora growing up into her teenage self, while Maleficent, engulfed in a green flame, casts the famed curse we can all probably recite from memory. - Screen Crush
Sean Bailey, President of the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Productions, promised “we will be faithful to the original material,” but added that they hoped to elevate it as well, showing the politics of the royal court while following Cinderella from her time as a young girl to that fateful night when she’s given that dress and those slippers and heads to the ball.
In the pre-taped segment, Branagh showed a screen test with the new Cinderella (Downton Abbey’s Lily James) wearing a makeshift blue gown meant to represent the one she’ll wear to the ball. As the Prince, Richard Madden of Game of Thrones, will be a “funny, smart, sexy prince. A great complimentary match for Cinderella,” said Branagh. Cate Blanchett’s wicked stepmother will be at turns wicked, but also witty, and Helena Bonham Carter’s Fairy Godmother will be “warm and tender and funny.” Branagh says she’s the “voice who lets us know that all will be well.”
Branagh is concerned with getting the iconic scenes right — from the transformation of the pumpkin into the elaborate carriage, to Cinderella’s entrance into the ballroom, to the moment when she realizes the slipper does, in fact, fit. If Branagh’s excitement is any indication, this newest take on the girl who loses her slipper might just be a new classic after all. - Entertainment Weekly
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