Building on the momentum from Cinderella and last year’s barnstorming reboot of The Jungle Book, Condon’s fantastical feature is another live-action interpretation to spring forth from the Disney archives. Whether Beauty and the Beast can hit the dizzying box office heights of its next of kin is another question entirely, but the Mouse House has certainly brought together a cracking ensemble cast. Headed up by Emma Watson (Belle) and Dan Stevens (Beast/The Prince), you’ll be able to go up close and personal with each character up above, and there’s even a curiously human version of Dan Stevens as the dashing prince.
Beyond that, you’ll find new looks at Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson, who are on board as Lumiere and Mrs. Potts, respectively, not to mention Josh Gad as LeFou, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Audra McDonald as Gaderobe and finally, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette.
Had things panned out differently two years ago, Emma Watson may well have starred in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella instead of Beauty and the Beast. Here, the former Harry Potter star explains why she ultimately chose Belle over Ella.
“I didn’t know they were going to make Beauty and the Beast at the time I turned down Cinderella, but when they offered me Belle, I just felt the character resonated with me so much more than Cinderella did. She remains curious, compassionate and open-minded. And that’s the kind of woman I would want to embody as a role model, given the choice.”
The House of Mouse will cordially invite you to be their guest when Beauty and the Beast opens on March 17th. Much like The Jungle Book before it, it’ll contain musical scenes – even if Bill Condon’s reboot isn’t strictly classed as a musical.