The popularity of Disney princesses definitely isn’t dying down, as evidenced by the success of “Frozen” and “Maleficent.”
Elle Fanning and Angelina Jolie were perfectly paired as princess and villain in the movie about Disney’s best sinister sorceress, and little girls were thrilled to be introduced to two new princesses to obsess over in “Frozen.” In fact, the “Frozen” fanaticism has reached such a fever pitch that the ABC TV series “Once Upon a Time” is taking advantage of it by introducing Elsa and Anna as live-action characters.
It sounds like “Once Upon a Time” is going to stay true to what happened in the animated movie by focusing on Elsa and Anna’s lives after the events shown in “Frozen.” Elsa is worried about what might happen if she loses control of her powers again, and Kristoff is living in the castle with Anna and her sister (that’s right — the iceman is going to be on the show, too).
These “Frozen” friends aren’t the only animated Disney characters who are about to get a little more fleshed out. Here’s a look at other Disney Princesses that will be featured in upcoming live-action TV series and movies:
Cinderella in “Cinderella”
Fans of fab footwear, rejoice! “Downton Abbey” actress Lily James is set to star as Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh’s live-action remake of the animated Disney classic. Branagh gives the fairy tale what at first seems like a fresh new spin by having Cindy meet the prince (Richard Madden) in the forest before heading to the ball. However, she doesn’t realize that he’s royal — she simply thinks that he works at the palace. “The Glass Slipper,” a 1955 film starring Leslie Caron, featured a similar premise. Leslie’s Cinderella also met the prince in the woods, and she was led to believe that he was the son of a palace cook.
Just like it did with “Maleficent,” the House of Mouse did an amazing job casting the villain in its live-action “Cinderella” movie — ice queen Cate Blanchett will play Cindy’s wicked stepmother. However, the fairy godmother casting is probably the most exciting thing about the fairy tale film — Helena Bonham Carter is set to star as Cinderella’s magical personal stylist. The movie will hit theaters on March 13, 2015.
Princess Leia in “Star Wars: Episode VII”
That’s right — Princess Leia is now a Disney princess, and Carrie Fisher lost 35 pounds to reprise her role as the metal bikini-wearing space royal in “Star Wars: Episode VII.” The 57-year-old actress probably won’t have to squeeze back into that slave costume, but Carrie would like to bring back the Leia buns. “That hairdo can never really be repeated without gales of laughter,” she said, according to The Daily Express. “I’ve begged them to put the hair back on in grey and just catch me cooking with the hair, like Granny Leia.” It will be refreshing to see a Disney princess in her older years even though Leia wasn’t originally House of Mouse royalty. “Star Wars: Episode VII” will hit theaters on December 18, 2015.
Belle in “Descendants”
An upcoming Disney Channel TV movie titled “Descendants” is going to feature a lot of familiar fairy tale faces. “Beauty and the Beast” characters Belle and Prince Adam now have a son named Ben (Mitchell Hope), and he’s preparing to take the throne from his royal ‘rents. As his first proclamation, he decides to give the children of some of Disney’s most notorious villains a chance to follow a different path than their parents. The trouble-making teens have been exiled on an island with their evil mothers and fathers, but Ben decides that they’d be better off attending prep school with the offspring of more well-behaved Disney denizens.
The cast of Disney characters include Maleficent (Kristin Chenoweth), Jafar (Maz Jobrani), the Evil Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (Kathy Najimy), Cruella de Vil (Wendy Raquel Robinson) and Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother (Melanie Paxson). There’s no word on who will be playing Beauty and the Beast, but they’ll probably pop up in the movie along with a few other Disney princesses, princes, and heroes.
The descendants of the Disney villains will include Maleficent’s daughter Mal (Dove Cameron), Cruella de Vil’s son Carlos (Cameron Boyce), Jafar’s son Jay (Booboo Stewart), and the Evil Queen’s daughter Evvie (Sofia Carson). The TV movie will air sometime in 2015.
Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”
Belle will make another appearance in a live-action “Beauty and the Beast” remake. This news was recently announced, so there are few details available. However, it was revealed that the movie will be directed by “Breaking Dawn” director Bill Condon. Since Kristen Stewart already played Snow White in “Snow White and the Huntsman,” maybe Condon will tap another “Twilight” star to play Belle — Nikki Reed looks a bit like the dreamer who loves to read.
Which of these Disney princesses are you most looking forward to seeing on TV or at the theater?