Your kids, your significant other, your mom – everyone’s going to want to see this one.
The tale of Beauty and the Beast has been told more than a dozen times on-screen over the last 80 years: Warner Brothers made an animated short for their Merrie Melodies series in 1934; Frenchman Jean Cocteau tackled the first live-action take in 1946; Our Gang director Edward L. Cahn was behind the first American live-action version in 1962; John Savage and Rebecca DeMornay stepped into the roles in the 1987 musical version for notorious producers Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan; the Disney version – by and large the most popular – came out in 1991; SyFy got into the game with their 2009 schlock-fest; fantastical French director Christophe Gans released a live-action version starring Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux in 2014, and next year Disney’s seeking to out-do itself with a live-action take on the tale starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.
So what is it about Beauty and the Beast that causes it to rival Romeo and Juliet as the greatest love story in history? Beats me, I’ve only seen the Cocteau one (once, to try and impress a date) and a couple episodes of the TV series with Hellboy and Sarah Connor, but after seeing the first trailer for next year’s Disney offering, I might have to change that, because this looks downright magical.
Directed by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh) and scripted by Steven Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which also starred Watson) and Evan Spiliotopoulas (The Huntsman: Winter’s War), if there was a picture in the cinema dictionary for “lavish,” the still would come from Beauty and the Beast, which looks like it’s sticking to the aesthetic established by the animated film, which means Disney’s going to make truckloads of money off this; the original is the fifth-highest-grossing traditionally animated film of all-time with a box office just under half a billion. You add Hermione to the mix? Billion globally, easy.
Check out the trailer then prepare yourself for a trip to a no-doubt crowded theater near you on March 17th, 2017, when Beauty and the Beast releases.