Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast is one of my most anticipated releases of next year, and ever since attending the D23 Expo and getting an oh-so-brief glimpse of Emma Watson as Belle, I’ve been anxiously awaiting even the tiniest bit of new information. The teaser trailer that debuted earlier this year promised a lush, vibrant reimagining of the Beast’s castle and its inhabitants, and today brings our first look at two of the original film’s most recognizable characters.
Producer Jack Morrissey posted this image earlier today on his Facebook page. It’s a screengrab from one of the special features on the forthcoming Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray, showing off some concept art for Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) and Cogsworth (Ian McKellen).
Morrissey mentions that “these designs are close but may not be final,” so it sounds like the finished versions we see next year may have a few differences. But wow, these look spectacular, and a bit creepier than I had anticipated – there’s almost a Guillermo del Toro element going on with these designs. And where the hell is Lumiere’s face?
Morrissey also posted a behind-the-scenes photo of Luke Evans and Josh Gad in full costume as Gaston and LeFou, respectively, shooting the famous tavern scene where the villain boasts about his manliness. I’m still not quite sold on Evans, but Gad feels like an absolutely perfect choice for his diminutive sidekick, and I’m guessing this scene will be one of the highlights of the remake.
Directed by Bill Condon and also featuring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as The Beast, and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Beauty and the Beast is scheduled to hit theaters on March 17, 2017.
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Directed by Oscar® winner Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast” is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, with eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, providing the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.