Twenty-five years ago, Disney shook up the entire game and released a movie that would become a cultural phenomenon — Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The film was lauded for its color-blind casting and starred singer Brandy as Cinderella. Paolo Montalban played Prince Charming, Whoopi Goldberg was the Queen, and Victor Garber played the King. Bernadette Peters was cast as the evil stepmother, and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother. The 1997 film was the first time that a black woman portrayed the iconic princess onscreen. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella was even nominated for seven Emmy Awards!
After years of waiting, Brandy and Paolo have once again come together to reprise their roles as Brandy and Prince Charming. Excuse me, King Charming! That’s right, Prince Charming has become the King in Disney’s new film in the mega-popular Descendants franchise, Descendants: The Rise of Red.
Disney shared an exclusive first look at Brandy and Montalban on set for the new film, and they both look stunning!
A royal occasion. ✨ King Charming (@PaoloMontalban) and Cinderella (@4everBrandy) have joined the upcoming Original movie, #DisneyDescendants: Rise of Red!
A royal occasion. ✨ King Charming (@PaoloMontalban) and Cinderella (@4everBrandy) have joined the upcoming Original movie, #DisneyDescendants: Rise of Red! pic.twitter.com/EsBxOqyr7q
— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) March 22, 2023
Descendants: The Rise of Red will be the first live-action Descendants film in four years. Descendants — which tells the story of the children of some of Disney’s most iconic characters — was first released in 2015. The movie starred Dove Cameron as Mel, the daughter of Maleficent, and Cameron Boyce as Carlos, the son of Cruella de Vil. Booboo Stewart starred as Jay, the son of Jafar, and Sofia Carson portrayed Evie, the daughter of the evil Queen. The film was a massive hit. Sequel films were released in 2017 and 2019. An animated fourth film was released in 2021.
According to Disney, Descendants: The Rise of Red will be heavily based on the story of Alice in Wonderland. The new movie will tell the story of two new children — Red, the daughter of the Queen of Hearts, and Chloe, the daughter of Cinderella and Prince Charming. Together, Red and Chloe must use the White Rabbit’s pocket watch to travel back in time to prevent an impending coup by the Queen of Hearts. The Queen of Heart will be played by Rita Ora.
Descendants: The Rise of Red will also see the return of some characters from the original movies. China Anne McClain will return as Uma, the daughter of Ursula. Melanie Paxson — who played the Fairy Godmother — will also return. We do not have an official release date, but the movie is expected to come out sometime this year.