It has become a tale as old as time indeed; Beauty and the Beast is not only billed as a Disney Animated Classic; it has become one. The story of Belle finding true love with the Beast was a triumphant hit for the House of Mouse when it was first released in 1991. With a beautiful score penned by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, Beauty and the Beast very quickly became a firm favorite for many, not least the star of the new live-action version, Emma Watson.
Taking on the role of Belle, Watson features on the cover of EW, dancing in the arms of her Beast, to be voiced by Downton Abbey star, Dan Stevens. The actor will also play the Beast onscreen in human form. Watson tells EW that she has always loved the movie and like many of us, watched it endlessly while growing up, so this role must be a dream come true for her:
“I can’t even think how many times I watched it as a child. I knew all the words by heart. I knew all the songs by heart.”
In addition, Beauty and the Beast boasts an all-star cast including Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. Also starring in the movie is Luke Evans (Girl on the Train) as Gaston, with Frozen's Josh Gad playing his sidekick, LeFou. The film is said to have stayed close to the original animated version, while also putting its own stamp on things. The original Menken and Ashman score will feature, thankfully, but Menken has also penned new songs for the movie, and given his caliber of work, they're sure to be outstanding.
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A gallery of photos from the film have also be released, and they're well worth pouring over in minute detail. The CGI looks fantastic, especially the Beast, while Emma Watson looks like she's pretty much ready to start twirling down Main Street USA in the Disneyland parade at any moment. As Gaston, Evans, who has a strong history in musical theater, seems to be relishing his villainous role, and Gad also features in the pictures, as does Kevin Kline, who plays Belle's beloved father.
It's fair to say that while news of the live-action Beauty and the Beast reimagining might have been met with trepidation at first, everything we have seen and heard thus far has only served to build excitement for the movie's release in March 2017. Now, Beauty and the Beast is highly anticipated by most, and the beautiful EW cover just adds to that; showcasing the magical moment that Belle and the Beast dance together in the ballroom and slowly start to fall in love. Thus far, we've only really had a small glimpse at Watson in character, during a very brief teaser. Now, these photos perfectly tease a magical movie to come. While that might seem a bold claim to make without any substantial footage available, it's hard not to feel a sweet sense of nostalgia upon seeing all these new images. Now, let's hope for a trailer soon that will showcase our stars' vocal talents.
- Beauty and the Beast (2017) release date: Mar 17, 2017