Emma Watson as Cinderella?
MANILA, Philippines - Emma Watson’s fairy godmother might just be watching over her.
According to Variety.com, the 22-year-old actress is in “very early talks” to play Cinderella in a new Disney film by director Kenneth Branagh.
Branagh has directed a slew of film adaptations of Shakespearean plays including “Henry V” for which he was nominated for a Best Director Oscar. He is also an accomplished actor; he co-starred with Watson in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” where he played Professor Gilderoy Lockhart.
Disney has not confirmed that Watson will play the beloved fairy tale character. Other actresses reportedly being considered for the role are Gabriella Wilde (“The Three Musketeers”), Saoirse Ronan (“Atonement”) and Alicia Vikander (“Anna Karenina”).
Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett is rumored to play Cinderella’s evil stepmother.
The studio hopes to begin production early this year and to release the film in 2014.
Ever since being chosen to play Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” franchise at the age of 9, Watson’s acting career has been on the rise.
She was well-received by critics for her role in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and has wrapped up roles in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” and the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg comedy, “This is the End.”
She will star next in the Sofia Coppola film “The Bling Ring.” She has also been cast to play Beauty in “Beauty and the Beast” for actor-director Guillermo del Toro.
If she is cast as Cinderella in the Disney movie, it won’t be the first time Watson has encountered the role. In 2009, she considered playing the character in a musical to be written and directed by rock musician Marilyn Manson.
This live-action Disney “Cinderella” will be the latest in a string of recent fairy tale film adaptations that began with Tim Burton’s 2010 box office hit “Alice in Wonderland" starring Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp.
It was followed by the yet-to-be-released Angelina Jolie starrer “Maleficent” (about the villainess in “Sleeping Beauty”), “Snow White and the Hunstman” (starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth), “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” (starring Gemma Arterton, Jeremy Renner), “Oz: The Great and Powerful” (starring James Franco, Mila Kunis), and “Jack the Giant Slayer” (starring Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson). - With reports by Pia Ranada/Rappler.com
('Oz: The Great and Powerful' opens in Philippine cinemas today, March 7.)