Lily James, who found fame as Lady Rose MacClare in Downton Abbey, has been chosen by Disney to play Cinderella in their upcoming live-action reboot of the fairy tale. The English beauty has beaten off competition from the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Bella Heathcote and Emma Watson for the sought after role, with filming set to begin on the project later this year.

Lily James
Lily James should make a fitting Cinderella

Kenneth Branagh has already been signed on to direct the live action take, with Cate Blanchett playing the evil stepmother. Disney have been planning on bringing a live-action version of Cinderella to cinemas since 2010, following the success of Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland, but have only now gotten round to filling in all the gaps in the project. Blanchett was confirmed to take on the evil stepmother role at the end of last year, but since then the producers have been in a mad dash to sign their lead actress, with many of the would-be Cinderellas, most notable Watson, declining the part due to other commitments.

Mark Romanek was initially going to direct the film, but dropped out due to creative differences before the more than able Branagh stepped in. The script is being handled by Devil Wears Prada writer Aline Brosh McKenna, who was in charge of the initial draft of the transcript, although it may have been altered since then considering the ongoing fracas surrounding the film.

Lily James
Lily will be joining Cate Blanchett and Kenneth Branagh on set.

Disney say the film is still on schedule to be released next year, although the film company have been unspecific about the exact date, or time of year. In the meantime, we can look forward to Jack Ryan, Branagh's next film, and Blanchett's appearance in the second Hobbit film and the upcoming Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine) and Terrence Mallick films.