6 Fairytales We Need to See Onscreen
This last decade has been a fabulous gift to fairytale lovers with so many gorgeous retellings (Cinderella 2015, Maleficent, Beauty and the Beast 2017) as well as lesser known fairytales getting their own adaptations (Frozen, Into The Woods). But there are still so many awesome, romantic and moving fairytales that need their own chance to shine!
Here are six popular fairytales from both Europe and Asia that seriously need their own live-action onscreen renditions. I’ve added dream casts for them because what’s more fun than dreaming up the very stars who will play in these wonderful shows??
#1 Twelve Dancing Princesses
A king with 12 daughters is baffled over how the princess’s shoes are always worn-out every morning. He offers a reward to anyone who discovers the truth. A soldier with an invisibility cloak outsmarts the girls and follows them through a trap-door where they rendezvous with princes. For deducing the mystery, he marries a princess and becomes the king’s heir.
Dream Genre: Live-Action Hollywood
Dream Cast: I’ve read some wonderful retellings of this story and I’d love to see them onscreen. With 12 Princesses, there are loads of actresses out there that would be great in this film. Just some that come to mind that I think would be cute in the roles would be young and rising actresses like Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, and Georgie Henley. For the hero, Douglas Booth has the acting chops having played Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Pip in Great Expectations, and Bingley in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
#2 The Wounded Lion
A poor farm girl takes a thorn out of a lion’s paw three times, but her good deed causes her to lose the animals under her care. She searches for her flocks and stumbles upon a young prince, who tells her of the giant that cursed him to live as a lion by day and also stole her animals to eat. The girl sets out to free the young man and stop the evil giant. She succeeds and marries the prince!
Dream Genre: Live-Action Hollywood
Dream Cast: Since The Wounded Lion is a Spanish fairy tale, I’d love to see Latino actors head this film. Vanessa Hudgens would be a fun choice; she played the heroine in Beastly, a Beauty and the Beast retelling and is currently starring in the new superhero comedy TV show, Powerless, airing this year. I think Diego Boneta would be great for a young prince. He’s most noted for his role in Pretty Little Liars.
#3 The Weaving Girl and the Cowherd
This fairytale is recognized through Asia and even has its own holiday! Though there are endless variations, the fairytale’s central storyline revolves around a heavenly maiden or “fairy,” the Weaving Girl, who falls in love and marries the Cowherd (or Woodcutter). But their romance distracts them from their celestial duties which angers the Emperor of Heaven who separates them (in other versions, the Cowherd is a human and is forbidden from staying with his wife in the Celestial Heaven). Distraught, the couple’s tears draw the attention of magpies who form a bridge in the sky so that one day every year, the couple can cross it and are reunited.
Dream Genre: K-drama
Dream Cast: A K-drama of The Weaving Girl and the Cowherd would be fabulous! There’s a myriad of great actors that could play the leads. My candidate for the love-struck Cowherd would be Yoo Seung-Ho. No is no stranger to historical roles, Yoo Seung-Ho played a Prince in Queen Seondeok, a warrior in Warrior Baek Dong Soo, and even the Emperor of Heaven in Arang and the Magistrate. Shim Eun-Kyung would be lovely as the Weaving Girl. A child actress now grown up, Shim Eun-Kyung has an irresistible charm and was so darling in the K-movie Miss Granny.
#4 East of the Sun, West of the Moon
A magical White Bear whisks a girl off to his palace. Unfortunately, she discovers the Bear’s human side that only appears at night before the end of his curse forcing him to go to the palace “east of the sun, west of the moon” where evil trolls live. The girl goes on an adventure in pursuit of her prince and saves him from having to marry a horrible troll princess.
Dream Genre: Live-action Hollywood
Dream Cast: I would LOVE to see a big budget Hollywood approach on this fairytale! I think Daisy Ridley would be wonderful as a fairytale princess. Though relatively new as an actress, she’s shown herself capable of playing a sympathetic, relatable heroine. And who better to play a fairytale prince than Tom Hiddleston? Am I right, or am I right?
#5 The Story of Shim Cheong
I adore this fairytale so much. Shim Cheong is a poor dutiful daughter who decides to sacrifice herself in hopes that her father will be healed from blindness. She agrees to be a human sacrifice for sailors to appease the god of the oceans. The Dragon King saves her, though, and brings her to his palace. After a while, she returns to land where she marries an emperor and is reunited with her father but she’s sad to learn he’s still blind. She calls his name and once he hears his daughter’s voice and his eyes are healed.
Dream Genre: K-drama
Dream Cast: With so many wonderful actresses in K-drama land it’s hard to pin it down to one person. For a lighter drama, I think Park Min Young would be a fun choice. A very popular actress, Min-Young has starred in K-drama hits like Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Healer, and City Hunter. If the drama was looking for of a more somber, melodramatic storyline I’d love to see Han Ye-Ri headline. She played a fascinating character in the historical K-drama Six Flying Dragons and recently starred in Age of Youth and I can see her bringing on the emotional pathos of Shim Cheong.
#6 Princess Kaguya
Story: A poor bamboo cutter prays for a child. They find a thumb-sized girl who grows into a normal sized woman of immense beauty. Several princes and the emperor all desire her hand but she comes up with impossible goals for them to win her hand to prevent any marriage. Eventually, her people return to her and bring her back to the Moon where she’s reunited with the royal family.
Dream Genre: Japanese Drama
Dream Cast: For the title heroine, I’m choosing Ayase Haruka as Princess Kaguya. She’s no stranger to historical dramas having starred in the 2016 Seirei no Moribito as a warrior. I think she could bring charisma to the role of a beautiful but strong-willed princess. But since there are several male roles in this fairytale, I would choose Shun Oguri and Takeru Satoh. And maybe they could tweak the ending so she gets together with one of them. *wink, wink*
What fairytales do you want to see onscreen? Let us know in the comments!