In the latest entry of our ongoing series, Screen Rant's Ryan George reveals what (probably) happened in the pitch meeting for Disney's 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. Several years ago, Disney realized that it could make an obscene amount of money simply by taking animated movies that every loves and just making them all over again - this time in live-action.
To the studio's credit, some of the live-action remakes have tried to innovate. Maleficent, for example, is Sleeping Beauty retold from the perspective of its villain, and Dumbo threw in a plot about a greedy entertainment company gobbling up a smaller company (which was a bit awkward, given the timing). Meanwhile, Beauty and the Beast (directed this time around by Bill Condon) seemed to go out of its way to try and address some of the "plot holes" of the original movie - such as why the castle's staff was also punished for the prince's transgressions, and what happened to Belle's mother.
As a result, Beauty and the Beast's running time is about 40 minutes longer than the original movie, and has new elements like a magical book with the ability to transport the user across time and space. There was also the much-hyped rewriting of LeFou as the first openly gay character in a Disney movie... which ended up being a split-second shot of LeFou dancing with a man. Still, underneath all the additions was enough of a nostalgia factor to bring Disney fans young and old flocking to theaters - from a recreation of the iconic ballroom dance scene, to the Beast absolutely annihilating Belle with a snowball to the face.
Beauty and the Beast was a massive hit at the box office, grossing more than $1.2 billion worldwide and becoming one of the top ten highest-grossing movies of all time. Harry Potter alum Emma Watson played the lead role of Belle, while Legion star Dan Stevens played the Beast via motion-capture, and also the prince in his human form.
The next upcoming live-action remake from Disney is The Lion King, though there's been some debate over whether it's actually live-action, since all of the characters will still be animated - just in a more realistic style. Some have expressed reservations about whether the film will work as well with realistic animals, but based on the box office performance of movies like Beauty and the Beast, it's pretty safe to say that Disney will have yet another massive hit on its hands.