Walt Disney Studios is a long-proven juggernaut in the movie world, with the company bringing animated flicks as well as the Marvel and Star Wars cinematic universes to audiences. Lately, however, they’ve started a new trend; turning some of their most-loved classics into live-action adaptations so fans can see their favorite movies all over again, with an added twist. It all started with 2010’s Alice in Wonderland release, ahead of the hugely-successful Angelina Jolie-led film, Maleficent. Then came Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Pete’s Dragon, all of which proved that Disney could bring back fans of an already-established movie for a second outing.
Arguably the most hyped release is for the impending Beauty and the Beast, with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens taking on the titular roles alongside Luke Evans as Gaston, and Josh Gad as Disney’s first exclusively gay character, Le Fou. With ticket presales tracking as the fastest-selling family film of all time, it’s fair to say that audiences across the globe can’t wait to see Disney’s latest project. Based on the 1991 animated film of the same name, the live-action version is predicted to be one of the biggest releases of the year, and it’s easy to see why. And, with under a week to go until release, Disney continue to plug away at garnering the biggest audience possible, dropping new promotional material whenever they can.
In one of the latest TV spots, the focus turns to the curse placed on the former Prince, now Beast, and the struggles he’ll face in finding his one true love and overcoming the hugely negative response he sees from almost anyone who realizes he’s different to them.
Joining those previously mentioned stars are such talents as Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Kevin Kline (Maurice), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Stanley Tucci (Maestro Cadenza) and Audra McDonald (Madame Garderobe). It’s easy to see exactly why so many are excited to fill out theaters and catch this one on the big screen.
With that being said, critical reception so far has been a little lukewarm. The overall feeling seems to be that while it’s a beautiful, good-looking movie with stellar performances, the story is a little too packed in, with those behind the flick trying to do too much with the amount of time they’ve been given.
Of course, the real test will come from commercial audiences. We already know big numbers are going to be made at the box office, but when fans start having their say about the overall story and production, that’s when Walt Disney Studios will know whether or not they’ve done a good job. With more live-action releases in the works such as a Cruella de Vil origins story featuring Emma Stone and a new Lion King, featuring original Mufasa voice actor James Earl Jones, they're definitely very confident.
Source: Walt Disney Studios
- Beauty and the Beast (2017) release date: Mar 17, 2017