LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – After combing the acting landscape, Walt Disney Pictures has chosen Mandy Moore to voice the lead role in its Digital 3D-animated musical action-adventure “Rapunzel,” inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.
Zachary Levi, star of NBC’s “Chuck,” has been cast as the voice of the dashing bandit who finds himself on the road with the rebellious teen “hair apparent.”
Byron Howard and Nathan Greno will direct. Regular Disney collaborator and multiple Oscar winner Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”) will compose the film’s music.
The film is scheduled for a holiday 2010 release.
Disney has long been trying to make a film about the character and years ago developed a project titled “Rapunzel Unbraided” with a number of writers. That project eventually faded, but when Disney/Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter came aboard in 2006, he started from scratch.
Disney’s new “Rapunzel” picks up years after the princess, famous for her 70 feet of golden hair, has been stolen from her parents’ castle as an infant and imprisoned. Now a teenager, Rapunzel escapes and goes on the run with a bandit, pursued by her captor.
Rapunzel could become part of the Disney Princess merchandising line launched in 2000. (The character also made a brief appearance in DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek the Third” in 2007.)
For 2010, Disney also has scheduled a 3D rendering of “Beauty and the Beast,” Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Toy Story 3.”
Moore is shooting the romantic comedy “Swinging With the Finkels” in the U.K. The singer-actress, who released the album “Amanda Leigh” this year, has starred in the features “Saved!” and “License to Wed.”
Levi next appears in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” which opens December 25.
Howard co-directed the Disney Animation film “Bolt,” which grossed $306 million worldwide last year. Greno served as head of story on the movie.
(Written by By Jay A. Fernandez and Borys Kit, Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)