ABC has announced that their Wonderful World of Disney will reunite the cast of Cinderella, which was developed by Brandy Norwood as the titular princess for the first time in over two decades. The film, Cinderella: The Reunion, will air in an hour-long program to commemorate the anniversary.
One of the most famous Cinderella adaptations to grace the screen in 1997 was directed by Robert Iscove (She's All That). The original 1957 televised musical with a young Julie Andrews was reworked and performed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, and the reboot "brought America's first Black Cinderella (Brandy) and Fairy Godmother"
ABC will air a 25-year special, Cinderella: The Reunion, that will bring together the original cast of the 1997 Disney film to discuss their experiences during production, and will include behind-the-scenes interviews with several Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Whitney Houston.
"Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award-winning actor and singer Billy Porter," who played the Fabulous Godmother in Amazon Original Cinderella in 2021, off-Broadway's Jade Jones, who plays Belle in Beauty in the Beast, and singer-songwriter and choreographer Todrick Hall, who says he's taken inspiration from the '97 film "throughout his career."
Imogen Lloyd Webber, the SVP at Concord Theatricals, spoke on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, saying, "This is where I live."
"We're delighted that a 25-year-old tradition of 'Rodgers & Hammerstein''s Cinderella' will be honored on the original network. The timeless tune is still enticing listeners 80 years after their partnership began and 65 years after their 'Cinderella' first attracted the largest audience in television history."
Cinderella received 60 million views on television the year it premiered, and the film received praise from critics and fans alike. Between Norwood and Houston's superb performances, Cinderella received a total of seven Emmy nominations, and a number of enchanting originals from Rodgers & Hammerstein's score, in February 2021, Disney+ began streaming the film for nostalgia and a whole new generation.
Brandy and Whitney Houston were the first actors in the cast, as well as Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constatina, Paolo Montalban as Prince Christopher, Victor Garber as King Maximillian, Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother, Jason Alexander as Lionel, and Veanne Cox as Calliope.
Cinderella: The Reunion, a Special Edition of 20/20, will air on ABC on Tuesday, August 23 at 8 p.m. ET, and will be available to stream the following day on Hulu. After the event, The Wonderful World of Disney will air 1997's Cinderella for the first time in over two decades. Watch the trailer below, and watch the special before you tune in:
Cinderella (Brandy) suffers from the depravity of her wicked stepmother (Bernadette Peters) and evil stepsisters, Calliope (Veanne Cox) and Minerva (Natalie Desselle) until her Fairy Godmother (Whitney Houston) intervenes to save her life for one unforgettable night. At the ball, she falls for handsome Prince Christopher (Paolo Montalban), whose parents, King Maximillian