Very exciting Variety exclusive, this:

With the recent release of “Maleficent,” which grossed more than $170 million worldwide in its opening weekend, Disney is working fast on its next live-action fairy-tale adaptation.

Bill Condon is set to direct a live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” for Disney.

Casting thoughts anyone? For Belle?

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  • Al Robinson

    If I were into live performance art, this would excite me. Especially if I were into Broadway musicals. As it is, I prefer my musicals in television and film form.

    As for Bill Condon directing, I think he might actually be more cut-out for directing plays than films. He has a nack for movement and staging. Just look at Dreamgirls, and The Fifth Estate.

    Either way, I see this being a successful endeavor.

  • UBourgeois

    I do not envy Bill Condon. Not only will he be working in the shadow of one of the best/most beloved animated films ever made, but the live-action element may evoke comparison to Jean Cocteau’s classic. Guy can’t win for losing.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    So do we have a trend now? Just don’t touch ALADDIN.

  • Just don’t touch ALADDIN.

    You say that, Bryce. But wait till they cast Omar Borkan Al Gala and put him in a little purple vest. You’ll never stop buying tickets to see it.

  • Al Robinson

    OT: Bryce,

    A few months ago, I think you mentioned 2 foreign films I hadn’t seen. I think Ryan had joked he wouldn’t be my friend until after I see those two films. Were they:

    The Conformist
    Cries & Whispers

    Might you remember.

    (I just randomly remembered that past conversation.)

  • Al, it was Bertolucci’s The Conformist
    and Visconti’s The Leopard.

  • steve50

    Re: Aladdin, Bryce. I’m sure you would have second thoughts if they landed Tahir Rahim.

    Beauty and the Beast is dangerous ground, on the other hand. Best to go with complete unknowns.

  • Tyler

    Anna Kendrick! That’s all. Her SNL appearance has several musical based sketches that are a perfect audition tape to be a Disney Princess, like the intro (Into The Woods not included…)

  • Elizabeth Olsen was the first actress that came to my mind. Dem eyez.

    I could also see Emmy Rossum being great.

  • Anyone want to have some Beauty and the Beast nightmares?

  • Bryce Forestieri

    “wait till they cast Omar Borkan Al Gala and put him in a little purple vest”

    Oh my word….Oh my damn. Won’t I ever want to explore the infamous cavernous…no wait, that’s Ali Baba. Ok yes, I would buy tickers.

    Al, I think you’re talking about my all-time Top Five which I tend to indiscriminately drop in unrelated convos. But, if you want to check them out, and you must, here you go:

    CRIES AND WHISPERS – I’d say start with this one because it explains the human condition and it’s topical around here because we always talk about the Oscars and about the 70’s. See it, and like me, you won’t conceive that it was actually nominated for Best Screenplay *and* Best Director *and* Best Picture. Always to be cited if you’re going to theorize on what drugs The Academy was on during those years to have such a broad-minded taste.

    THE CONFORMIST – I’d follow up with this one because it explains the human condition and since we’ve been discussing having a protagonist that isn’t likable by the great masses’ standards, you’ll probably want to test your empathy on Clerici — but if you don’t want to descent that deep in the vortex just warm up with LA DOLCE VITA and see if you like that guy by the end, if you don’t proceed with caution with THE CONFORMIST

    THE LEOPARD – I’d finish up with this one because it sort of explains the human condition, and you’re might, against your will, start enjoying the company of aristocrats a little, and their ways, and the sumptuous beauty, and it might just be the movie you want to live in — all risks worth taking! for a series of miracles that will occur during the greatest ball.

    And I assume you’ve seen THE GODFATHER parts I&II and 2001: A SPACE ODDYSSEY by now.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    “I’m sure you would have second thoughts if they landed Tahir Rahim”

    You guys are exposing me as a sellout

  • Al Robinson

    “And I assume you’ve seen THE GODFATHER parts I&II and 2001: A SPACE ODDYSSEY by now.”

    Oh for many many years now. The Godfather is one of my favorites. I need to see 2001 again. I remember thinking at the time I first saw it that it was too slow for my taste. Now that just sounds like an excuse.

    So I was right, and wrong. It was Cries & Whispers, but it was also The Leopard, along with The Conformist.
    I don’t know why I can remember stuff like that, but I can forget simple things like where I left my car keys, or to check the mailbox.

  • Al Robinson

    BTW, thanks for the info (both) Bryce, and Ryan. 🙂

    I’ve been catching up lately with some movies I had never seen before:
    The Sting, Cabaret, Annie Hall, Mississippi Burning, Blue Velvet, and Bonnie and Clyde.

    And, re-watching movies I hadn’t seen for a few to many years:
    Blade Runner, Platoon, Network, Chinatown, and All the President’s Men.

  • Al Robinson

    Strange thought:

    I wonder how The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn would have been had Bill Condon directed it as a stage play instead?…

  • No idea for Belle. How old is that character supposed to be anyway? I can’t think of anyone who has that look. Maybe that girl from Glee?

    I don’t know why, but the first person I thought of for Gaston was Nathan Fillion.

  • Chance

    Lupita for Belle…
    Tom Hardy as the Beast
    Joe GL or Charlie Hunnam for Gaston

  • john pasquij

    will it be a musical? how about anne hathaway

  • geremy

    Hugh Jackman as Beast. People already are joking about the ideas of a Wolverine: The Musical. This would basically be it.

    Chance– Lupita for Belle is the best idea I have seen on this page.

    And yes Antoinette, Nathan Fillion is the only person in the world who could possibly play Gaston. I was wondering why nobody had already said it when I suddenly found your comment. Though Gerard Butler might be good too.

  • geremy

    Okay, now I can’t go to sleep until I cast the rest of the characters:

    Cogsworth–Nathan Lane
    Lumier–Neil Patrick Harris
    Mrs. Potts–Dame Judi Dench
    Maurice–John Hurt

  • Chrisw

    I hope this doesn’t happen.

  • camlukey

    I know she’s not a movie star, but the first person who came to mind was Laura Osnes. Perfect look, perfect voice (even if it’s not a musical).

  • Koleś

    Why the hell would one need a live action version of Beauty and the Beast? I’d be more interested in stop motion animated “Schindler’s List 3D – The Musical”

  • Alan of Montreal

    I think it would depend on if it were a musical or not. Personally, I think the best version is Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête.

  • Paul

    I’m confused. Is this different from the Beauty and the Beast project that Guillermo del Toro was developing?

  • SeattleMoviegoer

    after sitting through the woefully inadequate MALEFICENT, i feel depressed about this trend. the “reimagining” of OZ last year was equally brutal to sit through. if Kenneth Branagh can’t get the slipper on CINDERELLA–the trend has got to stop.

  • SallyinChicago

    Not sure I’m on board for this. B&TB was a great cartoon movie, they should just re-release it. Make it 3D or Imax. Disney has no shame at milking its products!

  • Giacinto

    Emma Watson is the best candidate for Belle!

  • CCA

    There’s another “Beauty and the Beast” live action film that opened earlier this year in Europe. It’s a French production with Lea Seydoux as Belle and Vincent Cassel as the Beast.

  • GoOnNow

    Branagh is a good director with period/magical material.

    I’m also expecting a really wicked and bitchy Cate Blanchett – that alone will induce me into seeing the film at least twice 😉

    Looking back at Snow White & The Huntsman you realize it actually wasn’t a bad experience.

  • David Lindsey

    I actually saw an Australian production of Beauty and the Beast a number of years ago where Jackman, before he was famous, played Gaston. He was wonderful. I think he could play either role.

  • murtaza

    I can’t say how Cinderella might turn out, but Disney fucked up Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, they’re ruining their own classics. Kristen Stewart and Elle Fanning were total lunatics, look at the way Disney made Aurora look like, she looks like a fucking retard who in already harshly limited screen time of hers spends most of her time enjoying her ass out with those hideous and fairy like woodland creatures like a 6 year old. I know this was what original Aurora did, but this was the time to come up with something more mature. And don’t get me started on those asshole fairies.

    My first preference would be that they leave Beauty and the Beast alone, if not then I’d say:

    Beast – Henry Cavill or Tom Hardy
    Belle – Amanda Seyfried or Emma Watson
    Gaston – Hugh Jackman or Gerard Butler
    Lumiere – Adrien Brody or Eddie Redmayne
    Cogsworth – Jonah Hill or Zach Galifianakis
    Mrs. Potts – Imelda Staunton or Judi Dench
    Maurice – Danny DeVito or Bob Hoskins (if he were alive)

  • Connor

    C’mon, you just know they are gonna go after Anne Hathaway

  • Anna Kendrick or Emma Watson would be fantastic as Belle. My NGNG would be Bruce Cambell as Gaston. I would love to see Leonardo de Caprio as Lumiere, but that’s just crazy.

  • Ben Gordon

    I’m really disappointed in the director choice. I don’t know why, I’m just not a huge Bill Condon fan.

    Nick Olszyk, I think Lumiere should be Mathieu Amalric. He just has that look. Mrs Potts, of course, should be Angela Lansbury (if she’s still able that is) and, for some reason, I’m thinking Jennifer Tilly as the Feather Duster haha

    Belle – that’s a hard one. I don’t think Anna Kendrick has the doe-eyed look for her. Emmy Rossum is kind of there- the look, the face, the voice.

  • g

    Emmy rossum for sure;) I just saw Maleficient last night! I loved it, I think ms. Jolie never looked more beautiful before on film. Rick baker’s makeup was amazing.

  • Chris Hemsworth as The Beast
    Logan Lerman as Bellamy

  • Meredith Leigh

    Can Keira Knightly sing? Because she’d be my first choice. She is always good. Otherwise, Emma Watson is a good choice or even Mandy Moore (who I actually think can act…love Saved).
    Gaston – Jeremy Renner or Idris Elba
    Beast – Tom Hiddleston
    Lumiere – Benedict Cumberbatch
    Cogsworth – Patton Oswalt
    Lafou – Peter Dinklage
    Maurice – Billy Connolly
    Mrs. Potts – Kathy Bates

  • I think this would be a perfect opportunity for the studio to put someone like Lupita Nyong’o in the role of Belle.

  • Ellsworth

    Angela Lansbury as Ms. Potts!!! Let her reprise the role

  • Bryce Forestieri


    “Chris Hemsworth as The Beast
    Logan Lerman as Bellamy”

  • Al Robinson


    I put this joke up on Ryan’s Twitter feed.

    (Hopefully this link works)

  • Robin Write

    For what it’s worth, here are my choices quickly before I change my mind and end up casting this for the next forty-eight hours:

    Belle — Mila Kunis
    Beast — Jason Momoa
    Gaston — Jean Dujardin
    Maurice — Richard Riehle
    Lumiere — Jim Carrey
    Cogsworth — Paul Giamatti
    Mrs Potts — Kathy Bates

  • Alan of Montreal

    It’ll probably be someone who caters to the tween set, such as Selena Gomez or Miley Cyrus. Maybe they’ll even give Vanessa Hudgens another stab at it after her first attempt bombed. But, seriously, there was a contemporary version only a few years ago, and there’s a TV series now–can anyone say overkill? If they want to get back into fairy tales, at least choose something that hasn’t been done yet–there are whole bodies of work by authors living and dead that could be tapped into–Hans Christian Anderson, for example, or even Aesop.

  • SallyinChicago

    OT: This just in
    Lupita Nyong’o, Brad Pitt to Reteam on Film Adaptation of Novel ‘Americanah’

    Don’t worry about Lupita. She made friends with Brad, her career is solid.

  • Watermelons

    I would absolutely start holding meetings with Oscar-winning Screen icon Kate Winslet (Titanic, Flushed Away) to discuss the role of Belle, and how the character could be brought to the contemporary cinematic landscape with power and vitality. Other options in case Kate Winslet is too busy: KStew, JLaw, MCat, ASap.


  • Al Robinson

    “If I were into live performance art, this would excite me. Especially if I were into Broadway musicals. As it is, I prefer my musicals in television and film form.

    As for Bill Condon directing, I think he might actually be more cut-out for directing plays than films. He has a nack for movement and staging. Just look at Dreamgirls, and The Fifth Estate.

    Either way, I see this being a successful endeavor.”

    I’ll admit, I just realized that this is going to be a movie, and not a stage play. IDK, I just read “live-action”, and for some reason pictured a stage play. Eh, for the record, I was at work when I first saw this.

    Okay, as for who should play whom:

    Belle – Lily Collins
    Beast – Josh Pence
    Gaston – Chris Evans
    Mrs. Potts – Meryl Streep
    Chip – Michael Cera

  • Like this, Al:
    Logan Lerman as Bellamy


  • I love Tom Hardy as much as the next person but I’ve never heard him sing. In fact I think I’ve heard him say that he can’t. Have you guys stumbled upon something I missed?

  • Al Robinson

    Ryan, that is uncanny. Logan looks just like him. Wow! 🙂

  • TB

    I know this is off topic, but I just came from watching Edge of Tomorrow and let me tell you this is what all summer blockbuster should be. What a pleasant surprise this was.

    Hope Sasha can review this. She would like Blunt’s character. She is smart, strong and funny, not just Cruise’s sidekick.

  • Scott

    Isn’t Belle like 15 tho?

  • Al Robinson

    If she’s got brown hair, how about Dove Cameron. She’s still a teenager.

  • Al Robinson

    Or hell, how about Hailee Steinfeld. She’s already got brown hair.

  • Al Robinson

    1 more, how about Ariel Winter, if they could pull her away from Modern Family.

  • Tyler Pratt

    Already with the Lupita Nyong’o comments. Just because it’s 2014 does not mean we have to change the racial context of all these classical and contemporary literary characters. Sometimes the source material resonates and works so strongly with audiences as a result of the context of the story and ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ isn’t always as complacent an approach as its derided. Placing Lupita Nyong’o in the story being adapted from the animated film and broadway musical would make little to no sense. Change the setting and tone a bit as far as the songs go and you could make it work, assuming it isn’t thought of as a novelty right out of the gate.

  • Do you guys just say names or are you actually picking people who you think can pull off a movie version of a Broadway musical?

    I was actually wondering if Lily Collins has any of her papa’s talent. Does she sing, Big Al?

  • Al Robinson

    “I was actually wondering if Lily Collins has any of her papa’s talent. Does she sing, Big Al?”

    Ha ha. You know, I guess I hadn’t thought of that Antoinette. I didn’t think about singing. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen Beauty and the Beast. I guess I should remember that every Disney song has singing in it.

    Hmm… That makes this more difficult to cast.

  • Kelly

    I personally think beauty would have to be someone with a little bit more youth than Anne Hathaway.

    I would be down to see Chris Hemsworth as the Beast (the beast was like a light brownish-ginger in the animated move) and Henry Cavill as Gaston (dark complected with all that chest hair!). Mmmmm who would even care about Belle?

    The supporting roles will be the hardest, in my opinion. No one is going to be able to touch Mrs. Potts and Lumiere without being compared to the incomparable Angie and Jerry. And if the studio gets them wrong, there goes the movie… I can’t even think of any veteran broadway actors who could live up to it…

    I personally want to be the armoire. Big ole drag queen.

  • Chance

    Wait… you guys are acting as if all or any of the previous adaptations by Disney were musicals… they weren’t. So singing doesn’t matter.

    And there were totally beautiful black people in France during the age of Beauty and the Beast. 2014 has nothing to do with it. I’m descended from black Frenchmen.

  • Al Robinson

    Chance, forgive me if I offend you, but I’m picturing you as Omar Sy.

    By the way, thank you. I didn’t think it had to be a musical.

  • Chance

    Craig, like Omar Sy, I once had shoulder-length hair for a role. Unfortunately the similarities end there, but I am planning on making a spreadsheet and becoming quite obsessive about increasing the list.

  • Chrisw

    The story takes place in the 18th century with aristocrats and wealthy merchants in France. Lupita, as great as she was in her first feature, is not right for that Belle. At all. If you want to change the setting, it doesn’t have to be modern, then sure. But if they’re going to try and recreate the song and dance of their animated classic then I would have to say, in my opinion, she would not be a good fit.
    what made their film classic, apart from the great songs, was that they hired professionals from Broadway. Animated films nowadays hire big names to sell a film, they don’t care if the voice isn’t right. Beauty and the beast was expertly voice casted. They should try and go that route.

  • Watermelons

    There were more Black women in 18th century France than there were talking clocks. Belle is a smart, magical-thinking outsider in a community of narrow thought & incurious numbness. Belle would cast Lupita as herself.

  • Blandon Love

    I had an idea for the movie, i literally think they should change it up a bit by making a prince a different person rather than a typical white guy, what if they made the beast a different ethnicity, but just as beautiful as the orignal prince from the movie? It should also be a person we do not know, that way it can be a introduction to a new character in the world of disney ,heres a picture that might open your mind a little bit on what im trying to say… open this website and i will show you who should play beast….

  • steve50

    “There were more Black women in 18th century France than there were talking clocks.”

    I love this

  • Chrisw

    I’m pretty sure Villeneuve and de Beaumont were writing about a white woman as that happens to be what they were.
    But, that’s ok, we’re all entitled to our opinions on such matters. They should cast whomever is the best for each part.

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