Disney has been enjoying a double-dip of success in recent years with live-action adaptations of its best-known animated tales - including Maleficent (an alternative version of Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella, and this year's The Jungle Book. Coming up next is Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon (The Fifth Estate), which will star Emma Watson (Harry Potter) as Belle and Dan Stevens (The Guest) as the terrible Beast that imprisons her... and eventually falls in love with her.
The movie is specifically based on Disney's 1991 animated film (rather than being a new take on the fairy tale), and features characters like Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen) and Gaston (Luke Evans) - and we recently got a first look at all three characters. Now, a new image has revealed a first look at Stevens as the Beast in his less-beastly form.
This image, like the ones before, comes from Twitter user Maconodom and are taken from bonus material on the as-yet unreleased 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray of the original Beauty and the Beast, which releases next month. The latest image, which appears to be from a behind-the-scenes featurette, reveals Stevens sporting the long, flowing locks of the Beast in his human form - further evidence that Condon's movie is sticking closely to the character designs from the original film.
— mac (@maconodom) August 26, 2016
If Disney has already put together a promotional feature for the Beauty and the Beast anniversary Blu-ray, it's likely that we'll see more from the movie soon. The first teaser trailer showed the Beast's castle falling into disrepair in the years following his transformation, but the only character shown was a brief glimpse of Belle and couple of lines of dialogue from Lumiere and Cogsworth. It's possible that Disney will hold off on releasing a full trailer until the anniversary of the original movie's release in November, but Disney fans definitely wouldn't complain if it arrives a little sooner.
Disney's live-action adaptations of its classic animated films have so far been generally well-received by critics and enjoyed success at the box office, so a beloved tale like Beauty and the Beast has a good chance of continuing that trend thanks to capturing both young children and nostalgic adults as its key audience. Condon also enjoyed plenty of praise for his most recent film Mr. Holmes, which starred McKellen as an elderly Sherlock Holmes, so hopefully Belle and the gang are in good hands.
Beauty and the Beast will see theatrical release in the U.S. on March 17, 2017.