Yes, there is another Cinderella movie coming, this time starring Camila Cabello. The Amazon Prime adaptation has been talked about for a while and now we have our first look at the actress in the role.
A recent press release offers viewers a glimpse of what’s to come. In one photo, Camila Cabello is clad in a worn frock, visibly singing and watching her dress be sewn together.
In another, Nicholas Galitzine (Chambers) as Prince Robert dances Cabello’s Cinderella at the ball, eyes transfixed on the latter’s baby browns.
Romeo and Juliet, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Pride and Prejudice, and Cinderella share one distinctive trait: they’re all public domain properties with exceptional silver screen adaptations that are as unique in execution as they remain curiously tethered to several timeless themes. Box office trends are constantly equivocating. By definition, they capture audience interest for a moment, only to be promptly replaced. But adapting public domain stories for screen is a time-honored Hollywood tradition. Certain indie comic books may only be given the cinematic treatment once or twice, but not a year goes by without a classic making it to theaters. While source-accurate movies are adequately enjoyable to purists, the casual viewer wants something bolder; after all, who wants to see a factory recreation of a story we’ve seen a hundred million times? Writers cheeky enough to reshape — or even contemporize! — tradition are the ones that stick and inevitably make it to the public consciousness. Pitch Perfect’s Kay Cannon hopes to achieve exactly that with her version of Cinderella starring Cuban-American pop star Camila Cabello as the beleaguered young house help.
The concept originated from talk show host James Corden, who appears in the film as one of Cinderella’s rodent footmen. The London-born entertainer imagined a conventional fairytale in the body of a contemporary musical; the story would be a source-accurate period piece featuring twenty-first-century twists, libertarian values, and modern-day favorites from “some of the top-selling musical artists of all time.” If Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is the Hamilton of American literature, Kay Cannon’s Cinderella would be the Lin-Manuel Miranda-esque retelling of a Brothers Grimm classic. Cannon channeled Corden’s enthusiasm into a screenplay and fashioned a winning combo by casting Camila Cabello in her first movie role. Cannon is also directing.
Kay Cannon wasn’t originally interested in the project. “I was someone who wasn’t really that attracted to the Cinderella story,” she tells Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview. “I kind of thought it was just a bunch of women being mean to each other.” The Girlboss writer immediately changed her stance after meeting James Corden. “I just felt like it was a great opportunity to show this loved, iconic character that is Cinderella in a way that’s more relatable to what girls and young women in particular are going through, where they can really see themselves,” she eventually admits. Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, shares her sentiments: “Cinderella is a classic we all know and love, but this time with a modern unique twist and starring the sensational Camila Cabello and an all-star cast. Producer James Corden and the filmmaking team have taken this beloved fairytale and revamped it with a fresh, empowering perspective that will resonate with audiences and families around the world. We couldn’t be more excited for our global customers to sing and dance along to director Kay Cannon’s reimagination of this classic story.”
Kay Cannon and James Corden’s Cinderella presents several firsts: Billy Porter as the “Fab G,” a black and openly gay Fairy Godmother, and an unusually hard-nosed Cinderella. Cinderella and Prince Charming were notably personality-swapped for the film, with the former being a vivacious alpha and the latter playing the role of a guarded, introverted beta. Cannon recalls the day she received the pitch, openly gushing, “I was like, ‘I could retell the Cinderella story?’ I could modernize it, and change Cinderella so that she’s vocal and active?” Cannon elaborates on the creative process she went through developing the narrative: “I was just always looking for, ‘What are the classic tropes, and how can I turn them on their heads?’ The biggest change is in Cinderella and [Nicholas Galitzine’s] Prince, because Cinderella’s like the alpha in this story and our Prince is a beta, and that’s not normally the case — or, he evolves. In this story, everybody around Cinderella learns something from her and changes.” The crew’s casting choices unambiguously deserve the most praise. Camila Cabello in particular is the star to look out for, according to Cannon. “She’s going to surprise everyone, because nobody’s ever seen her act before,” she explains, thoroughly enthused. “She’s so fantastic. She’s so good, and she’s so natural, and just funny and beautiful and really, really talented.”
Cinderella stars Billy Porter as our new gender-fluid Fairy Godparent, Idina Menzel as the evil stepmother Vivian, Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Robert, Pierce Brosnan as Robert’s father King Rowan, Minnie Driver as Robert’s mother Queen Beatrice, James Corden, John Mulaney, and Romesh Ranganathan as mouse footmen, rapper-singer Missy Elliott as a town crier, and of course Camila Cabello in the titular role. The movie was originally helmed by Sony and scheduled for a summer theatrical release. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, however, distribution rights were subsequently transferred to Amazon Prime. Cinderella streams worldwide in September.