On the face of it, it's a bit odd for Netflix to claim that Damsel isn't a fairytale movie. As you can see from the trailer below, there are plenty of fairytale elements including enormous swords, magic and a really big dragon. But how many fairytales can you think of that begin with Prince Charming sacrificing his princess to the dragon? Clearly Damsel is going to deliver a very different kind of distress.
The film, which is set to premier on the best streaming service, features Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie, a princess who is clearly not living her best life. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is setting out to take the familiar elements of fantasy movies and turn them upside down. Speaking to Netflix's Tudum, he says that at its core, the film is "a beautiful story about a young woman becoming a strong, independent, and empowered adult".
What is Damsel about?
Damsel is about what happens to Elodie when she discovers that her supposed fairy-tale marriage was a trap: the royal family only want her to join the family so they can feed her to a massive dragon and pay off an ancient debt. Elodie doesn't take the news well and doesn't go quietly into the dragon's cave.
This new Netflix movie may be fantasy, but it has real-life parallels. According to Fresnadillo: "we tried to make this as real as we can. It’s a fantasy, but grounded in reality."
In addition to Brown, the cast includes Angela Bassett, Robin Wright and Nick Robinson. Bassett plays Elodie's stepmother and Wright her new mother-in-law, and the film promises "a very powerful face-off between the two". Other well-known faces include Ray Winstone, Brooke Carter and Shohreh Aghdashloo.
The idea of subverting fairytale tradition with a feisty princess is almost as much of a cliché as the tropes it's kicking against, but given the cast and looking at the trailer this looks like it could be a lot of fun. Damsel will be available to stream on Netflix in 2024.
You might also like
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.