Damsel Has Millie Bobby Brown Breaking Fairytale Tropes: ‘It Literally Turns Those Upside-Down’ – Exclusive Image


by Ben Travis |
Published on

Millie Bobby Brown has battled all kinds of monsters on the screen so far, whether it be the Demogorgons of Stranger Things, or the Victorian patriarchy in the Enola Holmes movies. And next up, she’s heading into a different fight: one against a giant, fire-breathing dragon. In Damsel, her princess Elodie is given an unenviable destiny, delivered to be devoured by a ravenous mythical beast – unless she can flip the script on the typical fantasy tropes and slash her way to freedom. The fairytale rules are going out the window.

“Traditionally the princess is always the victim, all the way through,” Damsel director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo tells Empire in the 2024 Preview issue. “But here she has to save herself; no-one is coming to help her. I always had a strong connection with medieval fantasy stories, especially the ones with a fairy-tale aspect. But this one literally turns those upside-down. I love this dark take on these stories, and how it makes them into a contemporary adventure.” Upside-down, you say? No surprise that it’s Brown in the central role, then.

If Elodie is rewriting the traditional damsel in distress script, so too is the flame-breathing foe she’ll be facing off against. The plan is to create a dragon unlike any you’ve seen before. “The benchmark of dragons is so high,” admits Fresnadillo. “We worked hard on a new concept, a really great meeting point between fantasy creature [and] real. The dragon in this movie is a character, not only a beast but also something else.” Flame on.

Empire The Fall Guy Issue

Read Empire’s full Damsel story in the 2024 Preview issue – also featuring The Fall Guy, Nosferatu, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley, Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes, and much more – on sale Thursday 23 November. Pre-order a copy online here. Damsel comes to Netflix in Spring 2024.

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