Details about Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast are starting to pile up, as more cast members, some informations about the score and a release date have been announced. And the more news we get on this film, the more it sounds like Disney is making the same movie as the 1991 animated feature.
First, the casting announcements: we already knew that Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans would be playing Belle, the Beast and Gaston, respectively. The Hollywood Reporter revealed a few days ago that Josh Gad was chosen as Gaston's sidekick LeFou. Today brought some new actors to the mix, when Disney announced Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts and Kevin Kline as Belle's father Maurice.
Here's the full list of actors/characters that we're aware of so far:
It was also revealed that Alan Menken, who already composed the music of the animated film - and won two Academy Awards for it - would return to score the remake. Some of the songs he wrote with the late Howard Ashman for the 1991 movie will feature in the new film, and original songs will be written by Alan Menken and Tim Rice.
Also announced was the release date: Beauty and the Beast will open in 3D on the 17th March, 2017 (US).
So basically, this is a straightforward remake. It's the same characters, the same songs, even the same composer. Probably the exact same story. Disney is playing it safe here. This definitely isn't the scariest Disney live-action project (Dumbo owns that title forever) and the pretty impressive cast and crew seem to fit their respective parts.
However, it looks like Disney will have a hard time surprising fans of the original film.
Beauty and the Beast is directed by Bill Condon. Shooting is expected to begin in May.