'Cinderella': Kay Cannon explains why she cut Beyoncé track from the film (exclusive)

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·4 min read

Watch: Cinderella director and star reveal songs which didn't make the film

Cinderella director Kay Cannon cut a blockbuster musical sequence from the movie, which was set to Beyoncé's hit Single Ladies.

"I don't even know if I want people to know that actually," Cannon jokes after revealing the decision to Yahoo Entertainment UK. 

Single Ladies, released in 2008, soared to the top of charts all over the world and sold more than six million copies in its first year.

Read more: Camila Cabello says Cinderella "challenges social programming"

Cannon adds: "[The sequence] was so great and I loved it so much but where the placement of it was hurt the performance in the ball, so I had to cut it. 

"But hopefully we'll be able to leak it or have it on some kind of extras or something like that because it is just so great."

Billy Porter and Kay Cannon on the set of 'Cinderella'. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)
Billy Porter and Kay Cannon on the set of 'Cinderella'. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)

Blockers director Cannon, who also wrote the script for Cinderella, reveals that there were several songs which ended up on the cutting room floor.

"There were a couple of performances that got cut from the movie that we spent a lot of time on that are amazing. You had to cut something," she admits.

Read more: Barbra Streisand wanted Beyonce for A Star is Born

Another of the songs which was removed was a rendition of Could Have Been Me by British band The Struts.

The song can still be briefly heard, performed by Prince Robert actor Nicholas Galitzine, as part of a reprise in which leading lady Camila Cabello sings the movie's main original track Million to One.

Kay Cannon directs Camila Cabello as Cinderella and Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Robert. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)
Kay Cannon directs Camila Cabello as Cinderella and Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Robert. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)

Billy Porter meanwhile, who plays a genderless version of the Fairy Godmother in the movie, says the song his character performs in the film changed once he came aboard.

"I did not get any say [in the song choice] per sé, but I will say that when I signed on, the song changed," he reveals. 

Read more: Billy Porter hits back at critics of Sesame Street appearance

Porter adds: "The song used to be, in the original script that I read, it was Annie Lennox's Sweet Dreams

"When I got the final script to go over and shoot, the song had turned into Earth, Wind and Fire's Shining Star, so they clearly knew who they had. The second song is the better song for me. 

"I love Sweet Dreams too, don't get me wrong. I love that song too but for me, in this film. Shining Star was better."

Camila Cabello and Billy Porter perform 'Shining Star' by Earth, Wind & Fire in 'Cinderella'. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)
Camila Cabello and Billy Porter perform 'Shining Star' by Earth, Wind & Fire in 'Cinderella'. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)

Cinderella, which reimagines the title character as a dressmaker with little interest in princes, is a hybrid of original songs and jukebox hits from pop history.

"The contemporary songs were the idea that was pitched to me. It was always in the DNA of the movie," says Cannon. 

Read more: Take That jukebox musical heading for big screen

"And then for the original stuff, I wanted to show Cinderella in a new, original kind of way so it made sense that she would sing an original song that could really tell her story. 

"Then I also changed up the stepmother in that we got backstory from her, I tried to make her more three-dimensional and to have people understand why she acts the way that she acts. An original song to tell that story point made sense there too."

Idina Menzel plays Cinderella's stepmother in the new musical adaptation. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)
Idina Menzel plays Cinderella's stepmother in the new musical adaptation. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)

Cannon says she was "really lucky" when it came to securing rights for the songs she wanted to include in the movie.

The film also includes rap sequences, performed by British comedy musician Ben Bailey Smith — aka Doc Brown — as a town crier.

Cannon says she helped write these songs herself as a means of "forwarding the story and getting the exposition out in a kind of entertaining way".

Read more: Billy Porter reveals which Fairy Godmother inspired him

The cast of Cinderella also includes Broadway and Frozen legend Idina Menzel, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, James Corden and Romesh Ranganathan.

Cinderella is available to stream via Amazon Prime Video from 3 September.

Watch: Trailer for Amazon's new Cinderella movie

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