Last week, the news broke that the ever-wonderful Cate Blanchett was close to joining director Mark Romanek's 'Cinderella' in the role of the evil stepmother, firmly establishing it as the Hollywood Revision Of A Classic Fairy Tale to watch out for. It still feels odd that the director of 'One Hour Photo' and 'Never Let Me Go' is making a Cinderella movie, but putting quality actors on the screen is the first step in giving us hope. On the heels of the Blanchett news, Variety reports that the short list for the title role is down to three actresses: Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander and Gabriella Wilde. You'll probably recognize Ronan from 'Atonement,' 'The Lovely Bones' and 'Hanna' and if you were unlucky enough to see 'The Three Musketeers' you may remember Wilde, but Vikander seems to be a newcomer, making this role her potential big break and her own potential Cinderella story. Life imitating art and so forth.

And elsewhere...

Although JJ Abrams' Bad Robot production company is best known for producing juggernauts like 'Lost' and 'Star Trek,' it's also been a place for new and interesting filmmakers to make modestly budgeted genre projects (see Matt Reeves' increasingly underrated 'Cloverfield'). Since the world needs a place where young directors can make unique sci-fi movies on small budgets, we hope Bad Robot finds success with 'God Particle,' which will be the feature debut of unknown director Julius Onah. Here's the plot, according to Variety: "[the story] follows an American space station crew left abandoned after a problem with a Hadron accelerator causes Earth to vanish entirely." With a budget of between $5 and $10 million, Onah, Abrams and everyone else involved can afford to take a few risks, which should hopefully prove interesting.

What do you think? Do either of these projects interest you?