Kenneth Branagh is directing the hotly anticipated live action Disney remake of "Cinderella," which drops next March, and the Belfast-born actor/director/writer is already the subject of reviews based on a trailer that dropped last week – duration a little over two minutes.



“The most striking point to be taken from the debut trailer for the movie, which has just hit the web, is that there doesn’t seem to be very much new here at all. From the look of the trailer, Branagh does not seem to have brought any of the verve and poise he delivered for the excellent, cod-Shakespearean Marvel comic book movie 'Thor,'” sniped one critic from The Guardian in London.

Geez, give the guy a chance! But given that "Cinderella" is one of the most famous fairy-tale characters of all time, maybe that’s asking too much in this age of instant gratification. The "Cinderella" trailer broke a Disney record last week, garnering 4.2 million YouTube views and 33 million on Facebook immediately after it debuted last Wednesday.

Branagh’s "Cinderella" is going to be kind and sweet of course, but extremely self-confident and, dare we say, sexy.

“I believe that there are expectations of a Disney "Cinderella," which demand you use the tenets of the story,” Branagh told Entertainment Weekly.

“So, of course, we give people a pumpkin. Of course, we give them a carriage. Of course the mice are going to transform into the horses. Everything that you might expect is there.

“In the past, [some versions of] the story had set Cinderella as a victim. From the inside out, we see a girl who does not see herself as a victim. She’s her own gal and she’s good company. She redefines goodness, I think, in the performance and she makes it sexy, and cool, and playful.”

British actress and "Downton Abbey" star Lily James was cast as Cinderella, while Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is the Wicked Stepmother. Others in the cast include Helena Bonham Carter, Hayley Atwell and Stellan Skarsgard.