Just the other day I went on about how you rarely see live-action adaptations of Western animations. Either I’m not paying attention or somebody powerful is reading my words. In the case of the latter: I want an Expendables-type movie, expect this time it is all about Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Robert Di Niro and Harvey Keitel stealing people’s souls, shooting pimps and running criminal empires in New York. We can call it The Bickles.
Anyway, there are actually a couple of live-action versions arriving of Disney classics. Well, two I can think of right now: the recent Maleficent and upcoming The Jungle Book. Those will be followed by Beauty and the Beast, starring everyone’s favourite girl-next-door Emma Watson. The actor announced the news on her Facebook page, saying:
“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.”
The movie will be directed by Bill Condon, notorious perhaps for directing both parts of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, but also has Kinsey, Dreamgirls, Gods and Monsters and The Fifth Estate under his belt (and, less illustriously, the Candyman sequel).
Now this could be a very interesting project. As you may recall, the original animation was filled with possessed household implements, so somewhere a special effects studio’s heart skipped a beat when this project was announced. Watson seems like a great choice for the lead character Belle, but the real question is who will play all the strange and fantastic things in the Beast’s castle? Who will play the beast? And will it be a large CG cat or someone in make-up and a green suit?
Watson’s comments make it clear the the film is hoping to emulate the Disney classic, so there will be singing. In other words, this won’t be another Snow White and the Huntsman.
Last Updated: January 27, 2015