Christophe Gans, who first turned heads in the U.S. by making Brotherhood of the Wolf and last gave us Silent Hill back in 2006, finally has another project on the horizon – and it’s a doozy. The French director, perhaps best known for his moody yet kinetic visual style, will be taking a crack at playing around with the classic Beauty and the Beast story, starting this October. Gans told THR, “Although I will keep to a form of storytelling of this timeless fairy tale that is in keeping with the same pace and characters as the original, I will surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe never experienced before and produce images of an unparalleled quality,” then added, “Every single one of my movies has presented me with a challenge but this one is, by far, the most exciting and rewarding.”
Though I’ve yet to be rewarded by Gans’ new endeavor, I’m certainly already excited about it. But, honestly, it’s not necessarily because of Gans’ involvement, and it’s not even for any particular love of the Beauty and the Beast story. No, the reason my blood is pumping is the quality of the cast that is being assembled.
First off, Gans has cast one of the true heavyweights of the acting world, Vincent Cassel, in the role of the beast. From his work in Gaspar Noé’s films, to his starring role in the Mesrine movies, to his role as the ballet instructor in Black Swan, Cassel has proven to be one of those powerful actors who just commands your attention and manipulates your reactions every second that he’s on screen, and I always love to see him pop up in things. A big, meaty, starring role where he gets to really work out some issues surrounding anger and disfigurement sounds great to me.
Cassel isn’t the only name already attached to this one, though. We’ve got a beast, so there also needs to be a beauty. To that end Gans has procured the services of Léa Seydoux. She’s an actor I’m less familiar with than I am Cassel, but I have to say she’s really impressed me in the last year. She went from playing the sweet, pretty shop girl that Owen Wilson has a flirtation with in Midnight in Paris to playing the dangerous, sexy assassin that Paula Patton has a problem with in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, losing herself so well in two completely different roles that I didn’t even realize she was the same actress at first. Needless to say, I’ve got a big crush on her now and will be watching everything she does in the future.
So heck, I’m sold. You can tell me that Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman did the definitive version of these characters all you want (please don’t), I say bring on more Beauty and the Beast.