December 4, 2022
Brandy Once More Transforms to Cinderella


Brandy Norwood held hearts captive in 1997 Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” Now 25 years later, Brandy will reprise her role in the upcoming “Descendant” film on Disney+. And the news also has the media buzzing. 

Rodgers and Hammerstein: Playwright Royalty

In 1997 iconic playwrights Rodgers and Hammerstein, also well known for such classics as “The Sound of Music,” “The King and I,” “Oklahoma,” “South Pacific,” and “Carmen Jones,” took a creative leap. But, it was not the retelling of a fairytale that had the world gabbing. “Cinderella” had been told many times over. And the 1997 version would also be a rework. According to People, it was a reframing of the 1957 version starring Julie Andrews.

Cultural Win

Brandy Norwood and Paolo Montalban. Image source: Disney.

However, the 1997 adaptation would be the first time in television history “Cinderella” would have such a diverse cast of characters in titular roles. The cast would include an all-star line-up including Bernadette Peters (Stepmother), Whoopi Goldberg (Queen Constantine), Victor Garber (King Maximillian), Paolo Montalban (Prince Christopher), Whitney Houston (Fairy Godmother), and Brandy Norwood as Cinderella. It was groundbreaking for its time. As a republication of a 1997 Elle article notes,

 “It [Cinderella] conjured a world that was vibrant and modern and multicultural, and it filled that world with magic.”

Brandy Norwood, The History Maker

Brandy was making history in portraying the fairytale princess on TV. Norwood, an 18-year-old superstar in the making, was taking on the mantle of representation. She would be the first Black girl to play a mainstream princess on television. In 2021 Brandy sat down for a talk with Elle about a piece on Black Beauty. In the context of the conversation, the interviewer asked Brandy about her sentiments on the iconic role. According to the then R& B princess, 

“When I look back, I’m like, Wow, that was such an amazing time. To be the first Black princess with braids—it was unbelievable.” 

She proved impossible things were happening every day. 

Brandy Cinderella Once More

Now the brilliant performer will again reprise her role, but this time in the upcoming “Descendant” feature, “The Pocket Watch,” on Disney+. Entertainment Weekly states, “along with Brandy, Rita Ora will play the role of tyrannical Queen of Hearts.” And it promises to be quite a fantastical adventure. 

Brandy Norwood and Rita Ora

Brandy Norwood and Rita Ora. Image source: Blair Caldwell, Hayley Louisa Brown.

A debut date has yet to be confirmed. However, it is believed that the film could debut sometime next year. So, for Brandy, Cinderella, and the Descendants fans, stay tuned for another magical adventure. 

Written By: Renae Richardson

Edited By: Nikita Serdiuk

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