Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Booked: Billy Porter Cast as Fairy Godmother in New Live-Action Cinderella

Billy Porter performs on the runway for The Blonds x Moulin Rouge! The Musical during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on September 09, 2019 in New York City.
Photo: JP Yim (Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)

Cinderella doesn’t have to worry about looking dusty at the ball because she is about to be treated to some ballroom culture.

Billy Porter has been officially cast as the Fairy Godmother in the upcoming live-action Cinderella. Porter, who has been in talks to play the fabulous role for some time, announced the news at the 20th New Yorker Festival, which was held this week, Vogue reports. Camila Cabello (who sings that radio earworm “Señorita” with Shawn Mendes) is set to portray the titular character.

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This newest remake hails from Sony (Columbia) and was spawned by late-night talk show host, James Corden, who is set to produce, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s unclear just how Corden will reimagine the classic tale, and the only synopsis we have so far is “a modern reimagining of the traditional tale of the orphaned girl with an evil stepmother, with a musical bent thrown in for good measure.”

Vogue’s Michelle Ruiz delved into the evolution of princess tropes, noting:

But Porter’s casting—and the reinvention of these old tales, including who can star in them and who can play whom—is a step toward ushering the princess genre into a new era. Imagine what Porter’s Godmother could mean to a little boy who prefers Cinderella gowns to fireman dress-up. I imagine too, the significance to my own kids—when so many animated movies continue to be dominated by white characters—that the sparkly spirit of the Fairy Godmother can be brought to life, and made entirely unique, by a gay, African American man. Not that they’ll read as closely into the particulars: They’ll just see that he’s awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

With this news, it looks like this project could go the blind casting route, which would follow in the glass-slippered footsteps of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997) starring Brandy, Whoopi Goldberg, Whitney Houston and more. With this in mind, I’ll keep an eye out on the casting news of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters (Deadline reported Idina Menzel will be the evil stepmother), the Prince, the royal family and others.

Because the Fairy Godmother is entirely extra, Porter’s casting is fitting. I’m expecting a ballroom-themed rendition of the Godmother’s theme song, “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” and Porter gifting Cabello’s Cinderella with a pair of red-bottom glass slippers. The dress will be so sparkly, it will turn the clearest 20/20 vision blind and that pumpkin carriage will give the Bugatti a run for its damn money.

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Of course, since this project is still developing, this is all wishful thinking, but whatever the recent Emmy winner decides to do, it’ll be fucking fabulous.

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.