Fresh off last year’s acclaimed indie movie Sorry to Bother You and Steven Spielberg‘s blockbuster Ready Player One, Lakeith Stanfield and Olivia Cooke are in talks to star in an untitled fairy tale movie in the works at Disney+, Collider has confirmed.
Susan Johnson (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) will direct from a script by Cat Vasko, while Andrew Lazar and Ben Simpson will produce for Mad Chance. The trades have kept plot details under wraps, but according to Scriptshadow, the story follows a prince who sets off on a journey with his princess-to-be in order to lift a spell that’s made her really boring. Along the way, they discover a shocking reality about their existence — they’re actually one of the Grimm fairy tales, and they’ve disrupted the entire fairy tale universe with their quest. Scriptshadow describes the story as a subversive take on fairy tales, a la Shrek, Enchanted and the recent spec Fairy Godmother, which is in development at MGM.
I don’t know if I like the idea of a charming actress like Cooke (so good in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) being reduced to a “boring princess,” but surely her character will take on more agency in the second half of the film, when the heroes’ goal changes from “save the princess” to “save the universe.” Meanwhile, Stanfield is an interesting choice for the lead, having worked his way up from supporting roles in films such as Short Term 12, Ava DuVernay‘s drama Selma and perhaps most notably, Jordan Peele‘s horror hit Get Out. And Stanfield isn’t the only one whose career is red-hot right now.
Johnson turned heads with her Netflix movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and just yesterday she signed on to direct an adaptation of Annie Hartnett‘s acclaimed novel Rabbit Cake for Amazon Studios, with young Mckenna Grace set to produce and star. That film was written by Black List scribe Allie Hagan, and likewise, Vasko’s fairy tale script was also voted to the Black List, which chronicles the best-unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Vasko apparently parlayed her script into a seat in Legendary’s Monsterverse writing room, where she and other notable writers pitched ideas for King Kong and Godzilla movies.
Stanfield stars on FX’s Atlanta and recently starred opposite Gina Rodriguez in the Netflix rom-com Someone Great. He’ll soon be seen in Rian Johnson‘s murder mystery Knives Out, and in A24’s Adam Sandler crime drama Uncut Gems, which hails from the Safdie brothers. As for Cooke, she next stars opposite John Boyega in the indie drama Naked Singularity, and opposite Riz Ahmed in The Sound of Metal, about a drummer who is losing his hearing. Deadline broke the news.