Camila Cabello’s ‘Cinderella’ Has ‘Strength & Agency’ in Musical Update

Camilla Cabello stars in CINDERELLA
Premiere
Christopher Raphael

Like turning a pumpkin into a stagecoach with the flick of a magic wand, the creative team behind the upcoming Prime Video musical Cinderella has transformed the fairy tale, originally by French author Charles Perrault, into a contemporary music-filled dream. One could say the retelling has been flipped on its head faster than you can say “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.”

“Havana” singer (and former Fifth Harmony member) Camila Cabello leads the film as the ambitious dress designer, Ella, whose goal is to start her own business — not meet and charm a prince. “Our Ella is witty, vocal, and unwavering in her desire to make a life for herself,” says director Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect). “She’s not sitting in a basement waiting to be saved. In fact, she’s put herself in the basement to work on her dress designs without interference from her stepmother. She’s got big dreams and is determined to not let anything get in the way of achieving them.”

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The flick also includes Pose’s Billy Porter as her magical godparent, dubbed “The Fab G,” which is, “short for fabulous,” says Cannon. “He shows up for Cinderella right when she needs him the most,” the director adds, and in the best outfit imaginable, thanks to costume designer Ellen Mirojnick (just wait ’til you see it!). And, if you’re wondering why Cinderella‘s ballgowns look so spot-on dreamy, it’s because Mirojnick is also responsible for the romantic, bodiced looks on Netflix’s hit Regency-era drama, Bridgerton.

Rounding out the musical’s cast is Broadway star Idina Menzel as Ella’s multilayered stepmother Vivian, Nicholas Galitzine (Chambers) as dashing Prince Robert, Pierce Brosnan as the stoic King Rowan, and Minnie Driver as his tireless wife, Queen Beatrice. Also, keep an eye out for late-night host James Corden as one of Ella’s hilarious mice/footmen. These characters will sing, but not “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” Instead, the cast belts chart-toppers, like Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” and Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” plus brand-new originals written by Menzel and Cabello. “I love our arrangement of ‘Am I Wrong’ [by Nico & Vinz], in which we see the entire cast getting ready for the ball,” teases Cannon.

And in this refreshing take, Ella is, simply put, a badass. “Aside from the music, which updates and contemporizes the story in a fun and entertaining way, what makes this version so unique is that we give Cinderella more strength and agency over her life,” says Cannon. She continues: “In previous versions, Cinderella did whatever she was told and waited to be saved. When our Cinderella is told no, she is tenacious, refusing to let anything stand in her way.”

“So This Is Love”? Try, “So This Is Self-Sufficiency.”

Cinderella, Movie Premiere, Friday, September 3, Prime Video