Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson and Josh Gad recall the magic of an enchanted table read before filming in a new video. Without question, the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Best Picture Oscar nominated animated classic Beauty and the Beast experienced more success than anyone involved with production could have ever hoped for. After earning $350 million globally in its first weekend alone, the updated tale as old as time eclipsed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office within a month, and was on its way to cracking the all-time global top 10 list a couple weeks ago.
Long before any audiences laid eyes on Beauty and the Beast, however, the principal players in the production got to sense the magic of the project they were embarking upon at the film’s table reads. In a new behind the scenes featurette released by Disney in conjunction with the film’s pending Blu-ray and Digital HD release June 6, director Bill Condon revealed that the Beauty and the Beast table read was “much more elaborate” than just a script read-through, and that it was “planned and staged for days.”
In the featurette, Watson says, “I don’t even think you could call it a read-through. It was all singing. All dancing.” The video also finds Condon recalling the beauty surrounding Belle (Watson) dancing the waltz to the Beauty and the Beast title song, which Emma Thompson, who played Mrs. Potts, sang at the read-through. Pleasantly surprised by the impromptu performance, Gad says:
“I remember Emma Thompson getting up, completely unprompted, and singing ‘Beauty and the Beast’ You could see the goosebumps [on my arms].”
The Beauty and the Beast table read clip is the latest featurette to be released by Disney, following a fascinating video that depicted Dan Stevens’ motion capture performance as the Beast; as well as a deleted scene that featured the original version of “Days in the Sun,” which was one of the new songs written by composer Alan Menken and composer Tim Rice for the film.
Fans of bonus material will get plenty of it with the Beauty and the Beast video release, which includes, among other things, a featurette on Celine Dion’s performance of her end-title song “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” the music video for Ariana Grande and John Legend’s version of “Beauty and the Beast,” and behind the scenes look at the making of their music video.
While watching Beauty and the Beast is an experience in itself, it’s great that Disney is releasing a fair amount of behind the scenes footage to show the incredible amount of work that went into staging what is undoubtedly their biggest live-action musical adaptation to date. And just as Beauty and the Beast is about to be unleashed on video to fans across the world, you have to believe Jon Favreau is preparing for his table reads and more for his live-action remake of Disney’s The Lion King, which is set to go into production this spring.
One thing’s for certain, with Favreau’s version of The Lion King (and his planned sequel to The Jungle Book), along with other live-action adaptations like Tim Burton’s Dumbo, Niki Caro’s Mulan and Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, there are plenty of more enchanting moments in store for Disney fans.
Beauty and the Beast becomes available for purchase on Blu-ray starting June 6.