The word “musical” usually conjures up big-screen, mega-budget productions, but the format has also been super successful as streaming releases in the past few years. Hamilton and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series are merely two of the bigger hits of the past few years, and there’s more to come. The next big one will be Jennifer Lopez’s Cinderella series, a new adaptation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein made-for-TV version from the 1950s.
Cinderella is a folk tale that has stood the test of time. The earliest version dates back to ancient Greece, but the best known all stem from French and Italian versions that date back to the 17th century and are encoded into the modern consciousness via Disney’s 1950s animated classic. The most influential in modern times is Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical version. It was the basis for the 1997 TV movie starring Brandy in the title role and Whitney Houston as the fairy godmother.
The most recent Cinderella to hit the movie theaters was in 2015, when Disney remade its famous animated classic as a live-action version, though with a lot less singing. The new one will put the music back in musical, with Jennifer Lopez at the helm as executive producer.
Here’s everything known so far about the project.
The project was first announced as in development by Deadline on May 11, 2022. Jennifer Lopez‘s Nuyorican Productions announced it was teaming up with Skydance Television and Concord Originals to produce a new adaptation of Cinderella based on the R&H version. The project marks the first of a planned slate of limited series musicals from Skydance and Concord, which have produced series for various streamers over the last decade, from Netflix to Prime Video and everything in between.
The new series will be written by showrunner Rachel Shukert, whose most recent projects include Netflix’s late The Baby-Sitters Club and the canceled-too-soon GLOW.
With the project still in pre-production, no cast has been announced yet. But the direct involvement of Jennifer Lopez’s production company suggests that, like the hit 1997 film, the new series will be a diversely cast project. Whether or not J.Lo herself will take a role remains to be seen, but here’s hoping she’ll follow in Houston’s footsteps and play the fairy godmother.
Cinderella Plot & Musical Numbers
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s version of Cinderella was notable when it was made for having been written explicitly for television (even though it was later adapted into a stage production). Like the Disney version, the R&H adaptation draws mainly from the 1697 French tale by Charles Perrault. A young woman, forced into a life of servitude by her stepmother and stepsisters, is assisted by her fairy godmother to go to the royal ball, where she catches the eye and eventually the hand of a prince.
Naturally, the big question is which songs will make it into the new version. The major hits from the original include “In My Own Little Corner,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful,” and “Impossible; It's Possible.” The 1997 version added extra little-known songs from the R&H catalog to augment the score, including “The Sweetest Sounds,” “Falling In Love With Love,” and Houston’s big finale number “There Is Music In You.”
How many of these make the final cut remains to be seen. It will also be interesting to see if Lopez pens a new track for the series or if, like the 1997 version, the team goes back to the R&H catalog to add further deep cuts from their extensive writings to keep things fresh.
Cinderella Release Date & Trailer Predictions
Since Cinderella has only just been announced, there is no studio on board to broadcast/stream the new series just yet. Until now, Disney has been proactive in making sure it is the production studio to broadcast various versions of Cinderella. (The original 1950s broadcast and the 1997 version were Walt Disney Television productions; the latter aired on ABC.) Fans will have to wait and see which streamer or network picks up this new project before there’s any hope of a trailer or a release date.