In today's film industry, reboots and remakes seem to be more popular than ever. While these films often end up being financially successful, they need to strike a particular chord with fans of the original property to truly rise above the pack.
With next month's release of Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast, director Bill Condon aims to do just that. In a behind the scenes featurette courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, Condon spoke about his desire to bring the story into a new era, while honoring the classic animated film.
"Part of it was this great opportunity to tell it in a live action, fully photo-real version, and distinguish Belle again 25 years later as a 21st century heroine."
In many circles of fans, Belle has already been regarded as a feminist heroine since her debut in the animated film. Her love for reading and overall independence appears to be only further developed in the live action film, in which she will be played by Emma Watson.
Early details about the film revealed that Belle will be the family inventor instead of her father, Maurice, making her even more of a positive role model for the film's audience. According to Condon, this subtle reinvention of Belle was one of the film's main goals - and was applied across the slate of iconic characters as well.
"She is a character in an animated movie, so it is a question of taking these characters and putting them into this extra dimension, putting them into a live-action context, which means adding levels of psychology and nuance, and updating it."
This isn't the first time a Disney property has gotten this kind of reboot. Live action adaptations of Cinderella and The Jungle Book were both positively received by fans and critics alike, for capturing the essence of their previous animated films will providing more nuance.
Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belles eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Beauty and the Beast will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.