First came ‘Alice In Wonderland’ then ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’ and now ‘Malefient’ is a solid hit at the box-office. Disney is already looking to the future with their next live-action film and it’s going to be ‘Beauty and the Beast’! The original animated film came out in 1991 and was an instant classic, grossing $375 million and was actually nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture — the first animated movie to ever get that honor. And the movie has been a perennial favorite since, being rereleased on home video numerous times and generating untold millions in licensed merchandise.
Director Bill Condon will helm the live-action film. Condon has had a lengthy and largely well-respected career, directing such classics as ‘Gods and Monsters’, ‘Kinsey’ and ‘Dreamgirls’. Most recently, he directed the last two ‘Twilight’ movies, ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 1’ and ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2‘. Those weren’t as well received, with ‘Part 2’ scoring several Golden Razzies.
The script is being penned by Evan Spiliotopoulos, who has written numerous movies for Disney, mostly direct-to-DVD sequels to past movies, but he did also script the live action, theatrical ‘The Nutty Professor’ which was a solid hit. His next script to hit the big screen is ‘Hercules’ starring Dwayne Johnson which arrives on July 25th. Mandeville Films is producing.
Also currently in development are live action versions of ‘The Jungle Book’ with Jon Favreau directing and ‘Cinderella‘ which has Kenneth Branaugh attached.’Beauty and the Beast’ has actually already been translated to live action, in the long-running, very popular Broadway musical, but it’s unclear if Condon’s version will be a literal adaptation of the animated film. He does have a background with musicals, though, with ‘Dreamgirls’ and he also wrote the screenplay for ‘Chicago’. Going back to Dwayne Johnson… why am I suddenly picturing him as the perfect live action Gaston? What do you think?