Beauty and the Beast is the latest installment in Disney’s ongoing series of live-action fairy tale films that reimagine famous Mouse House-animated movies – or, in the case of Pete’s Dragon, a beloved Disney live-action/animated title. The live-action Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle, a young woman who becomes the prisoner of the bad-tempered Beast (Dan Stevens), after Belle’s father Maurice (Kevin Kline) inadvertently stumbles upon the Beast’s castle. Much of the marketing for the movie so far have focused on Watson as Belle, teasing her performance of such iconic Beauty and the Beast animated film songs as “Belle” and “Something There”.
To be fair, Stevens’ portrayal of the Beast has only gotten a bit less attention than Watson’s take on Belle in the Beauty and the Beast in the trailers and images released to date. Case in point, the latest set of images from the Bill Condon-directed film places the spotlight on The Beast in particular – at the same time, calling attention to Luke Evans’ turn as Gaston, the egotistical hunter who “transforms” into a different sort of beast after Belle shows no interest in becoming his (trophy) wife.
Total Film has the exclusive on the new images from Beauty and the Beast, following the release of its Beauty and the Beast-themed magazine cover from earlier this week. As both the following quote from Evans and photos of Gaston in the film (featured in the gallery below) illustrate, the antagonist hasn’t been softened at all in Disney’s new rendition of the “Tale as Old as Time”:
“We didn’t tone [Gaston] down. I think we did the opposite. Everything he does, he does extreme. There was no point trying to find a way to tone it down.”
These Total Film images from Beauty and the Beast also tease a scene in which the Beast shows Belle around what, one presumes, is the nursery room that he grew up in, back when he was a young human prince and had not yet been transformed into the creature he is during the film’s present. The animated Beauty and the Beast doesn’t include a scene that resembles the one glimpsed here, further illustrating that the live-action retelling of this story will follow the trend of Disney remakes like last year’s The Jungle Book and incorporate some fresh narrative material into the mix, even as it pays homage to its animated predecessor.
Stevens, speaking to Total Film, commented on the connection that his generation has to Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast especially, saying:
“The animated movie came out when I was a kid. It was really great. I think every generation has its own telling of this. It captures a lot of imaginations at once. It certainly captured mine.”
The release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast will, in keeping with Stevens’ comments on the matter, give the current generation of young moviegoers the chance to experience that story for the first time on the big screen – at the same time, allowing those who grew up watching the 1991 animated Disney film a chance to revisit the fairy tale, in a new but familiar light. Disney’s storytellers have continued to further refine their techniques for re-imagining the Mouse House’s classics over the past few years, so fingers crossed that Condon’s live-action musical will not break from that encouraging trend.
Source: Total Film