Another day in Hollywood, another announcement about a project that revises and refashions a classic fairy tale. The latest announced fable “re-imagined” can fortunately be thrown into the pile of titles that have potential, if only because of its intriguing premise: a more psychological and (literally) dream-like retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
Add to that word that True Grit‘s Hailee Steinfeld is attached to play the titular slumbering princess, and that’ll be good news for those who’ve been waiting to see what the Oscar-nominated teen actress would do next – even if The Hunger Games is sadly no longer an option.
Deadline is reporting that the spec package for screenwriter Lindsay Devlin’s Sleeping Beauty is currently being shopped around for a buyer, with Steinfeld attached as its prospective star. That makes Princess Aurora the latest Disney princess getting the live-action treatment, following in the footsteps of Snow White (the inspiration for three new films) and possibly Cinderella as well.
Devlin’s Sleeping Beauty takes a different approach to the beloved fairy tale than Disney’s gestating Maleficent project; the former literally recounts the story from Aurora’s perspective, following her into a fantastical dream world that she must navigate in order to return to reality. So it sounds more along the lines of Inception than Sucker Punch, as far as recent cinematic adventures set in dreamscapes go – and it’s safe to say that most people would now agree that’s a good thing.
The tactic of modernizing famous female literary heroines and damsels in distress paid off in last year’s Alice in Wonderland, and studios have been scrambling to replicate that film’s formula for box office success ever since. While the recently-released Red Riding Hood tried (and failed) to have its cake and eat it too by adding a tween romance to the mix, the trio of upcoming Snow White movies read much more along the lines of Alice – as does Sleeping Beauty.
Steinfeld is definitely an adolescent actress with potential to become more than a one-hit wonder, and this sounds like a good project for her to tackle next. It’ll allow her the chance to portray another young woman who must demonstrate her own strength in the face of danger, and give her own spin on a beloved princess archetype.
Now we just have to wait and see which studio picks up Sleeping Beauty and who it recruits to direct the movie. If it’s a filmmaker with a truly creative and imaginative visual style (a la Alice‘s Tim Burton), then Aurora’s dreams could be all the more exciting to see realized on the big screen.