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Can Bringing Back Cinderella and Dorothy Cure the Vampire Craze?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been anxiously awaiting the days when princesses, enchantment and fantastical adventures overtake the dark, brooding, vamping trends in teen-targeted entertainment. Teens (girls especially) need stories about individuality and empowerment. Not stories that tell them to go find that one guy through whose love they can find their identity. Especially when said guy is a 109-year old dead person. What ever happened to good old fashioned faux feminism? I say we bring it back with princesses and confused girls from Kansas.

In the past two days, good news has emerged on this front not once, but twice. First was the Deadline story about Disney paying top dollar for a live-action Cinderella pitch from The Devil Wears Prada scribe Aline Brosh McKenna. McKenna, who has proven herself to write characters with more than just surface-level depth, might be the best person to take on Cinderella. And a modern take on the character could prove to be entertaining. Think Enchanted, if done well.

The second bit of news comes for Pajiba, who are reporting that Drew Barrymore is in line to direct an adaptation of Surrender Dorothy, from Stranger than Fiction scribe Zack Helm. The story follows the grand daughter of Dorothy, who must learn how to use the power of the ruby red slippers to keep the Wicked Witch of the West from taking control of both Earth and Oz. Sounds like an action movie with Dorothy’s granddaughter as a heroic figure. And with Barrymore definitely into making “girl power” movies (as seen in her directorial debut, Whip It), this could prove to be a positive influence on the young ladies of America.

I’m hinting at a much bigger discussion here, one that I may be jumping into prematurely. The question is whether or not Hollywood can make quality, empowered female centric movies that appeal to teen girls in a post-Twilight world. Cinderella and Dorothy from Kansas aren’t bad choices. Especially in the hands of McKenna and Barrymore.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet.

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