One day at a slave auction in Jamaica (1595), a man bought a slave called Missy (Emayatzy Corinealdi). This man’s name was Stuart (Colin Firth). He was businessman; a trader of goods between England and the West Indies. He was very anti-slavery but he bought her so he could set her free. For him, it was love at first sight. She grew to love him, and they married, much to the dismay of polite society. Together, they had one child that they called Ella.
Their main goal was to give their child a life of happiness and joy, away from the horrors of slavery, intolerance and bigotry. When Ella was twenty, her mother was taken very ill and subsequently died. After years of grief, Stuart married again, to a rich vicious woman called Lady Tremaine (Dame Judi Dench). She arrived with her daughters, the timid yet suggestible Anastasia (Eleanor Tomlinson).
There’s also the black-hearted and evil Mary (Michelle Dockery). Ella (Oona Chaplin) is a child born from the union of black and white. This irks Lady Tremaine and Mary, to the point that Stuart mysteriously suddenly drops dead. She is now an orphan. Lady Tremaine is a racist and has no issue in turning her stepdaughter into a house slave. One day, the richest businessman in Jamaica comes into the local neighbourhood. His name is Jonathan Talbot (Matthew Goode). This perks the interest of the step sisters and Lady Tremaine.
One evening he holds a dance. Ella sneaks out in her rags and comes into contact with the local preacher, Siobhan O’Connor (Julie Walters) who sees it as her Catholic duty to give her some decent clothes to wear, and the rest is the tale as we know it. Inspired by the Grimm tales and set in colonial West Indies, my version of Cinderella will incorporate themes like: love, friendship, racism and culture with a thought-provoking social commentary.
Character Changes (Animals)
- Jaq – no longer a mouse, but a fellow house slave with Ella. He’s a larger than life character who loves music and he’s an all round funny guy. He was kidnapped by poachers inn St Anne’s and sold at a slave auction in Kingston.
- Angus – no longer a mouse, is white man in the local town. He was once a bookseller doing well for himself but he fell on hard times, and now he’s a known: drinker, traveller and a vagabond.
- Lucifer – no longer a cat, but is a white man in the local town. He’s a known thief who often gives Angus trouble, stealing from him for fun, being fiendishly sadistic. He’s also very good at gathering large crowds, conning them out of their money. Lucifer serves himself without any concept of loyalty to anyone.
- The Governor Of Jamaica – previously the King, he’s the father of Jonathan Talbot. Talbot is the richest man in the country, that isn’t in politics.
Created By: Amma Asante
Writers: Amma Asante & John Ridley
Musical Score: Rachel Portman
Cinematography: Cary Joji Fukunaga
No. Seasons: One
No. Episodes: Ten