If you haven’t heard yet, the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast won’t be receiving just one but TWO drastic makeovers in the near future. With the success of films such as Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent, and television series like Once Upon a Time and Beauty & the Beast, it comes as no surprise that the demand for more beloved stories coming to life is higher than ever. Studios are eager to give the people what they want, and both Disney and Warner Bros. have announced that they will be releasing a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. The two films appear to have a long road of competition before them, so why not start now? The battle of the B&B’s is on!
The Style: Period Piece Vs. Musical
Warner Bros. plans currently consist of releasing a period piece version of the film. With the story taking place in France in the 1700s, this would be an interesting take, considering the history that would come into play. Staying true to the era, a much darker version of the tale could easily be spun. With Guillermo del Toro (Mama, Hellboy) and Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones Diary), an interesting dynamic, still in talks to be writing the script, a dark romance with comedic undertones could really give the film a surprising upper-hand advantage.
While so far in their remakes Disney has turned towards a darker path (Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent), their live-action version of Beauty and the Beast might just be staying true to the heart-warming nature of their 1991 animated version. Speculation has come about that much of the film will be based on songs from the Broadway and animated versions. Seeing how adorable Enchanted was, we know that Disney can produce a great live-action musical.
Winner: Tie. Both films’ stylistic approaches are unique in their own ways, meaning that they could be equally as entertaining.
The Directors: Bill Condon VS ???
Perhaps some of the biggest buzz about Warner Bros B&B was the fact that Guillermo del Toro had originally signed on to direct. Unfortunately, del Toro has recently stepped down from the role of director due to other commitments. While he still plans to produce and work on the script, del Toro has left Warner Bros. frantically searching for someone to fill the director’s chair.
Disney has officially announced that Bill Condon will be directing and with a musical approach in mind, they couldn’t have found a better choice. Condon is well known for directing Breaking Dawn parts one and two (the best reviewed films in the Twilight saga), but has also done work on films including Dreamgirls and Chicago, two musical powerhouses. With the film in his hands, it might just be able to avoid the cheese-factor that some older audience members could be weary of.
Winner: Disney for, uh, obvious reasons.
The Belle Factor: Emma Watson VS Kristen Stewart
Emma Watson was reported to have signed on to star as Belle back when the film first came into discussion. Del Toro leaving the film has done nothing to change the starlet’s mind. With her big brown eyes and sweet demeanor, Watson is a more than fitting choice for the role, and has proved her versatility as an actress over the years. However, the actress has been linked as well to Disney’s future live-action version of The Little Mermaid to be directed by Sofia Coppola. Depending on which project moves along faster, Watson will more than likely have some choices to make.
The news of Disney’s live-action version of B&B is fairly recent, but that doesn’t mean that rumors haven’t already started to swirl about who will be playing Belle. Condon and Kristen Stewart worked well together on the set of Twilight, so it comes as no surprise that her name has been tossed in the ring as his top choice of actresses to work with. Yet some complications arise as the notion of Stewart as Belle. Sure, she has the looks, but she’s already known as Snow White, and her serious nature might not align with the musical style planned.
Winner: Warner Bros. Not that we don’t love Kristen, but Watson is the epitome of what a live-action Belle would be like. Maybe they should trade films?
….and the overall winner of the battle is: a tie! Being only in the early stages of planning, each film has a long way to go before every detail is set in stone. Neither film has released any hint of who’d they have playing the Beast and we all know that is a pivotal factor. We’ll be keeping our eyes and ears pealed for the latest details and make sure to share them! Which adaptation are you more excited for? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!