Bonjour! A tale as old as time has gained its lead actress in Walt Disney‘s upcoming live-action interpretation of Beauty and the Beast. British royalty, Queen E, Hermione Granger herself, Emma Watson, will take on the role of Belle opposite the yet to be announced actor to play the part of the Beast. Learn what Watson had to say about her new role after the break.
As one could imagine, Watson, 24, grew up on the House of Mouse’s powerful 90’s line of animated musicals – Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, and Mulan, Tarzan – so you best believe she is more than thrilled to fulfill the role of Belle. She even made a statement on her Facebook page this morning:
“I’m finally able to tell you… that I will be playing Belle in Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast! It was such a big part of my growing up, it almost feels surreal that I’ll get to dance to ‘Be Our Guest’ and sing ‘Something There’. My six year old self is on the ceiling – heart bursting. Time to start some singing lessons. I can’t wait for you to see it. Emma xx”
As they say, I think she’ll be brilliant. And one thing’s for sure, Watson is no stranger to characters who are enamored with books.
Produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, it was announced last summer that Bill Condon would be directing. Many TwiHards will recognize Condon as the man behind both The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2. So the man is no stranger to workign with beastly creatures. However, Condon has also directed such classics as Dreamgirls and Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, which broadens his arsenal of talent.
Writing the screenplay is Evan Spiliotopoulos (Pooh’s Heffalump Movie; Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure) and Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Rent). Although I am weary of Spiliotopoulos’ work being the scribe behind last year’s Hercules starring The Rock, I am comfortable in knowing that Chbosky did a fantastic job with working with Emma Watson in Wallflower.
Being the first animated, feature-length film to be nominated for Best Picture – losing to Silence of the Lambs – before there was a Best Animation category, speaks volumes to the level of street cred Beauty and the Beast has obtained. (It is definitely my favorite of the classic Disney Princess movies.) It wasn’t until 2010, when the Academy voted to increase the number of Best Picture nominees to 10, that another animated film, Up, would be recognized in that category.
Among the other honors Beauty and the Beast was recognized for at the 64th Academy Awards, Alan Menken won Best Original Score, it was nominated for Best Sound Mixing, and it was also given three of the five Best Original Song nominee slots – winning for “Beauty and the Beast”.
Since its 1991 release, Beauty and the Beast has grossed $424 million worldwide throughout its various releases, not accounting for inflation. This new adaptation follows Disney’s other live-action pieces, including 2010’s Alice in Wonderland and this year’s Cinderella – in theaters on March 13. Jon Favreau is also hard at work with Disney’s live-action version of The Jungle Book, set for release in April 2016.
A release date has yet to be announced, but production has been slated to begin later this year. Perhaps we’ll see this Christmas of 2016?
You can follow me on the Twitters @TyRawrrnosaurus