Disney continues ever forward with it’s visually stunning live action remakes of their animated treasure trove with 2017’s Beauty and the Beast. This new version will bring together much of the original cartoon film with aspects of the Broadway show, and a magical surprise or three along the way.
The first trailer for the film was released this morning during Good Morning America:
Director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1 & 2) has assembled a pretty fantastic cast for his version of Beauty and the Beast. You can see a bit of that here in this short featurette originally released over the summer:
Emma Watson will be our Belle, and she’ll be different from the cartoon Paige O’Hara voiced one from 1991 for a couple of reasons. Watson’s Belle is apparently the inventor this time around, not just crazy old Maurice (Kevin Cline). In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Watson spoke a bit about this new take:
“I was like, ‘Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn’t fit in, other than she liked books. Also, what is she doing with her time?’ So, we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor.”
Prince Adam/The Beast will be played by Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey). What we’ve seen so far of his CG character looks pretty similar to the 1991 design, right down to his ‘human’ form.
We also know Gaston (Luke Evans) is getting a song makeover, and not in the way we thought he would. His original song sort of toes the line in some of it’s lyrics, such as “Every last inch of me’s covered with hair” followed by a wink. In 2017’s version, we’ll be treated to unused Howard Ashman lyrics, who wrote the original songs with composer Alan Menken. Menken said (also to Entertainment Weekly):
“In ‘Gaston,’ we had a treasure trove of lyrics that Howard had written that we did not put in the movie. In many cases they were a little bit risqué — not risqué sexually, but risqué in terms of sensibility. We all felt ready to have these lyrics. When Bill [Condon]found out about those lyrics, he said, ‘Oh my god, can we please look at that, because it would be a wonderful way to add an extra freshness to the movie.’ So, yes, you’re going to hear some unheard Howard Ashman lyrics.”
Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellan as Cogsworth, and Josh Gad as LeFou round out the rest of the fantastic trove of talent bringing the tale as old as time to new life.
Beauty and the Beast releases worldwide on March 17th, 2017.