Downton Abbey's Lily James Will Be Disney's New Cinderella

Though she came in last in our readers' poll for who should play Disney's new Cinderella, emerging ingénue Lily James has come out on top to snatch the coveted role. Walt Disney Studios has proudly announced their newly appointed princess in a press release, promising more casting notices will follow soon.

James appeared in the fantasy adventure Wrath of the Titans, but is likely best recognized as Lady Rose MacClare, the jaunty jazz baby of Downton Abbey 's third season. With the widely acclaimed and wildly popular series prepping for its fourth season—one in which Lady Rose seems primed to play a major role—and Cinderella, 2014 is looking like it could be a defining time in James' career.

With a screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) and Chris Weitz (About a Boy), Cinderella should offer an intriguing and spirited new take on the classic tale. Helmed by Thor director Kenneth Branagh, it's sure to have a vibrant fantastical tone and lively theatrical drama. And having enjoyed James' in her so-far small role on Downtown Abbey, I'm eager to see what colors she'll bring to the part of this bullied maid turned pristine princess.

But who will play her prince? The latest reports had Richard Madden (A.K.A. Robb Stark of Game of Thrones) as a contender for the part. The possibility of Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones crossing over beyond the dul casting of Rose Leslie (Gwen / Ygritte) is reason enough for us to be pumped about this new princess adventure.

Kristy Puchko

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.