Once upon time, in those misty days just after Tim Burton’s Alice In The Wonderland conjured up over $1 billion in box office despite no one really liking it, Disney commissioned a similar update of Cinderella—the studio’s CEOs staring dreamily out the window, wishing upon a star to grant their heart’s wish of another way to profit from a popular public domain property. Of course since then many looming shadows have encroached on Fairyrebootland—at least four of them in the shape of Snow White—the sheer, redundant volume of which would seem to have condemned Disney to the humiliating drudgery of scrubbing laundry, darning socks, trying to come up with movies based on its theme-park attractions, and only making money off its original Cinderella, as well as all its affiliated merchandising.
But at long last, Disney may have found its prince in director Mark Romanek, whose critically acclaimed One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go were both commercial failures, so he might as well make a Disney Cinderella movie written by 27 Dresses’ and The Devil Wears Prada’s Aline Brosh McKenna, if that’s what America wants. So, like Alice In Wonderland before it, the Cinderella reboot could end up being its own heartwarming yet dark fairytale of studio calculation meeting the compromise of a once-idiosyncratic filmmaker, who metaphorically cuts off his toes to make a glass slipper fit. And the film itself is the pumpkin-coach, we guess. And, uh, the cartoon mice are the shareholders or something. That’s probably enough metaphors.
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