Beauty and the Beast: what we know so far

It's a tale as old as time but the newest adaptation starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens has the whole internet buzzing

Emma Watson sent the internet into chaos back in January when she announced she’d be taking the lead role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast – and ever since news has been filtering in as to who’s playing what in the live action version of the Disney classic.

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With the recent success of similarly re-imagined animated wonders such as Cinderella, we’re hoping the remake will live up to the hype – but, while we wait, be our guest and join us in recapping everything we know so far… 

There’s a beastly cast already assembled

As it stands, we’ve got a string of exciting actors already signed up: Emma Watson will play Belle and Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens will portray her captor-turned-love interest, Beast.

This morning has seen confirmation that Emma Thompson has signed on as Mrs Potts, the most crucial piece of kitchen-ware and maternal head housekeeper, while The Hobbit star Luke Evans is also on board to play dastardly Gaston. Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda) is set to take on the part of Maurice, Belle’s elderly, concerned father who desperately tries to save her from imprisonment, and rounding out the cast is Josh Gad (who played Frozen’s Olaf) voicing LeFou, Gaston’s bumbling sidekick. Not a bad line-up, eh? 

And an equally-impressive crew…

Meanwhile, Bill Condon has reserved his seat in the director’s chair – with both Twilight Breaking Dawn instalments already under his belt, plus the musically enchanting Dreamgirls, this seems like a match made in Disney heaven. 

The script has been updated by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) from an earlier version by Evan Spiliotopoulos. Alan Menken, who landed two Oscars (best original score and best original song) for the 1991 animated original, will score the live action update with new recordings of the original songs, plus several new entries written by Menken partnered with Sir Tim Rice. 

Expect a familiar backdrop with some brand new “elements”. 

Producer Todd Lieberman told Collider that shooting for the movie would start on May 18.

Our own London will serve as the background for the film. In the same interview Lieberman said that the adaptation would follow the traditional story line while adding “new elements” and characters to keep the story interesting. 

And lots of singing and dancing…

Just like the original, the live action Beauty and the Beast will include the whole song and dance. Watson’s already proven she’s got what it takes to hold her own on the dance floor, but she seems more anxious to unleash her vocal range on the world. 

“I sing, so that’s really unexpected,” Watson told Total Film magazine. “I’ve never had to do that for a film role before, and I think people will be interested to see me do something very different like that. It gives me a different challenge, really. That’s terrifying in and of itself!”

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Release date

Two years and counting until Beauty and the Beast finally hits our screens as Disney announces the fairy tale film will be in cinemas on 17th March 2017.