A first official look at Lily James as rags-to-riches princess in Disney's new live-action take on "Cinderella" has been released. It shows the "Downton Abbey" star on a galloping horse wearing a low-cut blue dress and matching flat shoes.
Production is underway at Pinewood Studios in London and on location around England. James, 24, is joined by Richard Madden as the Prince, Cate Blanchett as the stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother.
The stepsisters will be played by Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera. Stellan Skarsgard is cast as the Arch Grand Duke, Nonso Anozie will take on the role as the Prince's loyal friend, the Captain, and Derek Jacobi portrays the King.
The fantasy romance film is directed by Kenneth Branagh ("Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", "Thor", "My Week with Marilyn"), with Chris Weitz ("About a Boy", "The Golden Compass") writing the screenplay.
"With Lily James we have found our perfect Cinderella. She combines knockout beauty with intelligence, wit, fun and physical grace," Branagh says. Emma Watson was originally attached to play the titular heroine but she bowed out of the project reportedly due to scheduling conflicts.
"Cinderella" is slated to hit U.S. theaters on March 13, 2015.