The live-action fairy tale genre seems to be one that Disney is continuing to push quite heavily. Maleficent gave us the re-telling of Sleeping Beauty from the evil fairy’s point of view (and a sequel is reportedly in the works now). Then came Kenneth Branagh’s live-action Cinderella (starring Lily James and Richard Madden), which grossed well over half a billion dollars worldwide in Spring 2015.
These movies are set to be followed by a whole plethora of live-action reboots, reworking and reimaginings - including, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Pete’s Dragon, Mulan, and apparently even a live-action Winnie the Pooh. Today, we can report that yet another item has been added to that docket.
THR is reporting that Disney has secured a deal for a live-action movie based around the Prince Charming character. Details surrounding the plot are extremely scarce, but it is known that Matt Fogel (Big Mammas: Like Father, Like Son) has penned the script, while David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films/TV (as well as Tripp Vinson) will serve as producers. Alex Young, also of Mandeville Films, will executive produce, and the company is already producing Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens). Fogel is also writing Bob the Musical, the still-in-the-works musical comedy from Disney that is rumoured to star Tom Cruise.
One would assume that Cinderella will feature in the movie in some way and it could be that Disney intends to make something akin to Maleficent, which focuses on the eponymous sorcereress' childhood and then ends up running in parallel to Sleeping Beauty’s story. However, The Guardian is reporting that the Prince Charming live-action film will revolve around the title character's brother, "who has struggled to compete thanks to a lack of charm." How large a role the actual Prince Charming plays in the story, though, remains to be seen.
Until recently, Charming was not given much personality by Disney at all. In the 1950 animated Cinderella movie, audiences can conclude that he is romantic (based on his exasperation at his father’s attempts at matchmaking), and his determination to find Cinderella after the ball, but other than that, not a lot can be said. Though viewers were given more hints at humor from the Prince, as well as a love of ballroom dancing, in Cinderella III, A Twist in Time, it was a weak third instalment of the franchise that few will remember (and went straight to video upon its release in 2007).
In the 2014 Kenneth Branagh version of Cinderella, Prince Charming (Madden) was granted a first name, Kit, and shown to be a kind, generous and gracious man who was extremely close to his father. It will be interesting to see if Disney chooses to work on expanding this character for a standalone film, or whether it will be recreating Charming completely from scratch, since the inclusion of a brother suggests this new film won't have any immediate connection to Branagh's Cinderella.
We'll bring you more information on the Prince Charming movie as the story develops.