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Downton Abbey Actress Cast As Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella


British actress Lily James has won the coveted role of Cinderella in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s live-action film. 

Disney sent out a press release today announcing James’ addition to the cast. She’ll join Cate Blanchett in the film, already set as the evil stepmother. Disney says, “Additional announcements regarding Cinderella are expected in the coming weeks.”

Emma Watson was previously in talks for Cinderella but eventually passed and Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden is apparently up for the Prince role. Previous reports had James up for the role along with Bella Heathcote and Margot Robbie.

If her name/face looks familiar that’s because she just recently joined the meda-hit that is Downton Abbey last season as Lady Rose MacClare, the great-niece of Violet Crawley, and is set to return for their fourth. You might also know her from the Billie Piper-led Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Do you think she’ll  make a good Cinderella?

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."