Hulu is bringing a new princess to our screens. She is not full of sugar, and everything nice, but she definitely has some spice. Joey King stars in The Princess, “an action-packed fight to the death set in a fairy tale world.” Seemingly set to marry someone due to an arranged marriage, she takes her destiny and future into her own hands, and not in the way you’d think. This is not your average princess movie and is certainly not designed for your little tots.
Deadline confirmed that 20th Century Studios acquired the script in October 2020. The script was written by Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton, with Le-Van Kiet as director. King is an executive producer alongside Lustig, Thornton, and Guy Riedel (Creed II). Toby Jaffe (Total Recall), Derek Kolstad (John Wick), and Neal H. Moritz (Preacher, Escape Room, Fast and the Furious) also serve as producers.
Ready to watch King fight bad guys and presumably defend her honor, family, and kingdom? Here’s everything you need to know before The Princess is released.
The Princess: The Plot
Do not let her looks fool you; this princess is not to be messed with. The Princess is set to wed a man named Julius (Dominic Cooper) who only wants to steal her father’s crown, but she can not go through with it. Locked in a tower in hopes she’ll come around, she does what it takes to save her kingdom and herself. She is not going to let Julius take her family’s kingdom, or marry her against her will, without a fight.
The film is described as Rapunzel meets The Raid, which makes sense based on what we know. The Princess is locked in a tower, much like Rapunzel is in her story, though her trying to break out of a tower seems like the opposite of The Raid. Maybe she’s trying to break into the castle Julius stays in after saving herself, as she does say she will not stop on her path of independence until she is holding “his still-beating heart.”
The Princess takes the damsel in distress storyline and turns it on its head. She is not waiting around for a knight or random interloper to save her from her situation or give her a nicer person to marry. The trailer shows her hitting people with chains, using a sword, and pushing someone down a very tall tower, maybe even the one she was trapped in. And she seems to be doing it all in her wedding dress.
Different from the other princess films you might show your kids, this one is an action film with a tough princess determined to change her life on her own. Even though a Knight in Shining Armor is listed as part of the cast, will she need him? Could the inclusion of the character for her to rebuff the efforts of add to the girl-power message this film seems to be pushing? Is he sent by her family to save her, much like other films in the princess genre? Whatever the Knight’s role, we’re pretty sure The Princess will not need him.
The Princess: The Cast
The Princess stars young actress Joey King in the titular role. King is known for her role in the Netflix’s The Kissing Booth trilogy and previously worked with Hulu on The Act. Dominic Cooper plays Julius, the individual trying to marry The Princess and take her family’s kingdom. Cooper previously portrayed the lead in AMC’s Preacher and Howard Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Olga Kurylenko (Vampire Academy) will play Kai, and Veronica Ngo (Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi) will play Lin. The IMDb page lists three additional named roles. Alex Reid (The Descent) is listed as The Queen, possibly King’s character’s mother. Katelyn Rose Downey is Princess Violet, potentially a relative of The Princess, but perhaps another princess Julius tries to marry when The Princess becomes problematic. Ivo Arakov is playing Knight in Shining Armor. Additional cast members include Martin Taskov, Mitko Angelov, and Vasil Toshev.
The film will be available to stream on Hulu in the United States and on Disney + for international viewers starting July 1, 2022.
Everything Else We Know
The Princess seems to be taking several princess film stereotypes and creating a more girl-powered message. While she will not be the first princess in media to use a weapon or fight battles, it seems like she is relying entirely on herself, from breaking free of the tower to taking down Julius. Disney is going through their princess catalog, creating live-action versions, and there have been some modifications to add more feminist messages than the animated originals had.
In particular, the live-action version of Aladdin included the new song “Speechless,” which allowed Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) to express her discomfort over being married off to someone she did not love and having no say in her life. However, it looks like The Princess is taking this to the next level. Jasmine fought for her freedom, but King’s Princess is fighting in a way we have not seen princesses do before. It’s bloody and violent, unlike Jasmine’s or other princesses’ fights.
While you wait for this action-filled movie to hit Hulu, you can keep up with the other princess movies in development, like Snow White and The Little Mermaid.