Brandy’s Cinderella Makes Long-Awaited Return in First Look at New Disney+ Musical

The glass slippers still fit Brandy. The singer’s long-awaited return as Cinderella in a new Disney television movie has been given an official first look, courtesy of footage from the set of “Descendants: Rise of Red.” Brandy is reprising the role of Cinderella 26 years after becoming the princess opposite Whitney Houston’s Fairy Godmother in the 1997 television movie “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”

The set footage also confirmed that “Descendants: Rise of Red” will feature the return of Paolo Montalban, who played Brandy’s Prince Charming in the 1997 movie, which was groundbreaking for its multicultural casting. Charming is now king, and Cinderella is queen.

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Variety confirmed last November that Brandy boarded the “Descendants” movie as Cinderella. At the time, the movie musical had the working title of “The Pocketwatch.” The film centers on the relationship between Red (Kylie Cantrall), the rebellious teenage daughter of the Queen of Hearts, and Chloe (Mia Baker), the cheerful but naive daughter of Cinderella and Prince Charming. The two must travel back in time to prevent the destruction of their home, the kingdom of Auradon.

Rita Ora is also starring in the film as the tyrannical Queen of Hearts. Additional cast members include China Anne McClain as Uma, daughter of “The Little Mermaid” sea witch Ursula; Morgan Dudley as Ella, the younger version of Cinderella; and Melanie Paxson as the Fairy Godmother, among others.

Disney’s “Descendants” franchise centers on the children of the studio’s most infamous villains. The 2015 original starred Dove Cameron and Sofia Carson and debuted on the Disney Channel to over 6 million viewers. Two sequel movies followed in 2017 and 2019.

Disney+ has yet to announce a release date for the film, which is directed by Jennifer Phang and written by Dan Frey and Russell Sommer.

In 2021, following news that “Cinderalla” would finally begin streaming on Disney+, Brandy opened up to Variety about being chosen to the fairy tale princess.

“This was like a dream come true so I’m just so glad that this new generation has this beautiful piece to enjoy,” she said, adding that the streaming release felt like “divine timing.”

Brandy also reflected on the progress “Cinderalla” made by featuring a Black Disney princess. And with Halle Bailey starring as Ariel in this summer’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” and Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell in “Peter Pan,” that legacy lives on.

“I feel like it opened doors,” Brandy said, crediting producers Whitney Houston, Debra Martin Chase, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron with casting her in the role. “It’s because of them that I was able to be that person to help open the doors for so many other young artists that want to do things that they probably think are impossible.”

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