Disney has announced that Bill Condon will direct a live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” Considering that “Maleficent” has already made $170,000,000 at the box office, this is probably one of the least surprising bits of news that will come out this week. Recently, Condon directed the last two “Twilight” films. He is also well known for adapting the musical “Dreamgirls” for the big screen and writing the Oscar-nominated script for “Chicago.” Disney has other live-action adaptations in the works as well. A Kenneth Branagh-directed “Cinderella” is set to bow next March and Jon Favreau has been tapped to direct “The Jungle Book.”
Released in 1991, the animated “Beauty and the Beast” is one of the most successful animated films of all time. It is also one of few animated films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Of all the Disney films to adapt, it’s one of the surer bets. Neither the House of Mouse nor Condon has stated how the new film will approach the well worn fairy tale yet. The animated “Beauty and the Beast” is well known for its original songs. Considering Condon’s success with bringing musicals to the big screen, the live-action film could be a musical as well. Or perhaps, following in the footsteps of “Maleficent,” the new film will be told from the point of view of The Beast instead of Belle.
In the last few years, there have been a growing number of live-action adaptations of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. In 2011, “Beastly” was released to very little fanfare. Set in modern day, the film was based on a young adult book by Alex Flinn of the same name. The CW recently renewed “Beauty and the Beast” for a third season. The series, which is a remake of a 1980s television show, recasts the titular Beast as a Hulk-like figure. Earlier this year, Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux starred in a French film based on the fairy tale set in 1810.
With so many other adaptations out there including their own, all eyes will be on Disney as this film enters development.