ByElise Jost, writer at
"It's a UNIX system! I know this!"
Elise Jost

More than 15 years after the release of #Disney's Oscar-winning Beauty and the Beast, the studio is giving its animated classic the live-action treatment. All the music and magic of the 1991 fairytale will come to life next year in a new feature film, starring #EmmaWatson as the iconic Belle.

In the same vein as Cinderella and The Jungle Book before it, #BeautyAndTheBeast promises to dazzle our senses by pairing '90s nostalgia with the technological filmmaking advances of today. From dancing dishes to romantic waltzes across a gilded ballroom, the 2017 reimagining is already gearing up to be one of the biggest box office earners of the year.

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

So, ma chère Mademoiselle (and Monsieur), it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that I welcome you tonight. And now, I invite you to relax; let us pull up a chair as Movie Pilot proudly presents everything you need to know about Beauty and the Beast prior to its release.

'Beauty And The Beast' News, Rumors, And Updates

Updated: 2/24/2017

– Emma Watson hopes that movies like Beauty and the Beast can encourage men to look up to female characters:

On the cover of Entertainment Weekly, Watson discussed playing strong female characters such as Hermione and Belle — and how she hopes young boys and men alike can identify with them, not because of their gender but thanks to their awesome qualities.

– The village sings in Disney's new "Belle" clip:

Belle is her village's lovely outcast, still singing her heart out when everybody's whispering around her. We can't wait to see the full song in a few weeks!

– Disney releases a behind-the-scenes look at the movie:

It's not hard to imagine that the sets on a movie like Beauty and the Beast are simply enormous, but here's your chance to take a quick look at what the production of the movie actually looked like.

– Dan Stevens jokes about walking around in a motion capture suit:

On the Today show, Stevens explained that he fortunately didn't have to go through a grueling makeup process every day — his beasty suit is entirely CGI. But that means he was walking around the set in a motion capture suit while everyone else was all decked out in period costumes.

"When I was on set, I was on stilts and in a big muscle suit, covered in Lycra. Everything else looked gorgeous, beautiful. Emma Watson, her dress, beautiful, sets were incredible... and there's me, just swatting away."

From what we saw in the trailers, we can rest assured that the CGI team worked their magic.

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

– Disney released the full audio version of Ariana Grande and John Legend's take on the main theme:

Animation fans will know the theme of Beauty and the Beast, sung by Céline Dion in 1991, by heart — and this time, they'll be able to sing along to the version by Ariana Grande and John Legend. Check out the full version below!

– Céline Dion will record a new song for the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack:

Céline Dion won't be performing the theme song this time around, because it'll be a duet by Ariana Grande and John Legend. But she's getting a new original song all to herself, which will play during the movie and the end credits.

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

'Beauty and the Beast' Trailer

The final trailer for Beauty and the Beast pretty much sums up the whole story, but it's not like we don't know it by heart already.

You'll certainly notice the striking similarities with the 1991 classic, as if some scenes had been recreated frame by frame! So we put together a side-by-side of the live-action and the animated versions:

In addition to the teasers and trailers, Disney released a quick sneak peek that reveals even more of the characters, a look at the castle and some sound bites from a table read with Stevens and Watson. Could you dream of a better casting?

'Beauty and the Beast' Release Date

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

Writer and director #BillCondon's take on Beauty and the Beast will be released in US theaters starting March 17, 2017.

'Beauty and the Beast' Plot

As far as we can tell, the plot to this modern version will largely be similar to the original film. A smart, beautiful, but socially ostracized woman named Belle becomes the captive of the ferocious prince-turned-Beast. But after some time together, Belle comes to realize that the Beast isn't nearly as scary as she initially thought, and the two fall in love. Meanwhile, her suitor #Gaston can't stomach being turned down, and riles up the villagers against the Beast.

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

The one thing that the movie has changed from the animated version, however, is that this time Belle is an inventor, and not her father Maurice. Not only does that further cement her status as an excellent role model, it also gives her more of a background story and helps explain why the rest of the village think she's a bit unusual.

'Beauty and the Beast' Cast

Beauty and the Beast features a star-studded cast, including a number of familiar franchise stars, Oscar and BAFTA nominees and winners, and even a hilarious comedic actor. Meet the main actors below:

  • Emma Watson as Belle: Emma Watson, best known for her role of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise and as a UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador, polished up her singing voice to play the beautiful brainiac Belle.
  • Dan Stevens as Beast/Prince Adam: Dan Stevens's fame finally expanded overseas after he played the incredibly dashing and handsome Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey. Now he'll use his charms to woo Belle.
Emma Watson / Dan Stevens
Emma Watson / Dan Stevens
  • Ewan McGregor as Lumière: We already know that Scottish Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor has the pipes to light up the silver screen after seeing Moulin Rouge.
  • Ian McKellen as Cogsworth: Academy Award and BAFTA Award-nominated actor Sir Ian McKellen needs no introduction, but with franchises including the Lord of the Rings saga and the X-Men series on his resume, it never hurts to mention them.
  • Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts: Though it's hard to imagine anyone but Angela Lansbury voicing the maternal porcelain teapot Mrs. Potts, Academy Award BAFTA Award-winning actress Emma Thompson will certainly do a brilliant job.

The Original Mrs. Potts Still Loves The Animated 'Beauty And The Beast' As Much As We Do

Ewan McGregor / Ian McKellen / Emma Thompson
Ewan McGregor / Ian McKellen / Emma Thompson
  • Luke Evans as Gaston: Fresh off of the release of the thriller The Girl on the Train, Luke Evans is primed and ready to play the villainous Gaston. Only time will tell whether or not he can actually eat five dozen eggs like his character.
  • Josh Gad as Le Fou: Josh Gad first started making waves when he starred in The Book of Mormon on Broadway. But after playing Olaf in Disney's Frozen, Gad is recognized as comedic gold fit for Beauty and the Beast.
  • Kevin Kline as Maurice: Playing Belle's slightly eccentric but lovable father, Maurice, is Kevin Kline. With an Oscar for A Fish Called Wanda and two Tony Awards under his belt, taking on the role of the off-kilter inventor will be a piece of cake.
Luke Evans / Josh Gad / Kevin Kline
Luke Evans / Josh Gad / Kevin Kline
  • Stanley Tucci as Cadenza: Stanley Tucci has proven time and time again to be a phenomenal actor in whatever role he is cast (I'm looking at you, The Lovely Bones). That's why we shouldn't be worried to see him play a new character, Cadenza.
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette: Plumette might not have been a massive character in the original animated version, but the feather duster might be getting more screen time after it was announced the up-and-coming Doctor Who actress would be lending her voice to the part.

For more on the cast, read our complete rundown:

'Beauty and the Beast' Characters

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
  • Belle: Despite being a beautiful young woman, Belle is an outsider in her small French village due to her love of books and fierce independence.
  • Beast: Formerly a handsome but spoiled prince, the prince was turned into a Beast after refusing to help a beggar woman who was really a powerful Enchantress in disguise. This curse means the Beast and his castle staff will be trapped in their inhuman form until he falls in love with a woman and earns her love in return.
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
  • Lumière: One of Beast's right-hand men — or, in this case, candlestick — and maître d', Lumière is one of the castle staff who is affected by the curse. He aids Beast in wooing Belle.
  • Cogsworth: Beast's other confidant, Cogsworth is a tightly wound Majordomo who takes the shape of a clock and the counterpart for the more rebellious Lumière. He also helps Beast re-learn his manners and prove himself to Belle.
  • Mrs. Potts: Mrs. Potts is a teapot and the head of the castle kitchen staff. Potts's sweet, nurturing character helps Belle ease into a sense of comfort while held prisoner in this strange, magical world of talking monsters, dish ware and household appliances.
  • Gaston: The main antagonist of the film, the handsome but brutish Gaston is one of Belle's suitors prior to her capture. Though widely considered a hero by the townspeople, his narcissistic and chauvinistic personality leaves Belle rejecting his proposal.
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
  • Le Fou: Le Fou is Gaston's best friend and resident sycophant. His character largely serves as comic relief throughout the film.
  • Maurice: Belle's single father Maurice might be considered an embarrassment to the town, but it means little to Belle who continues to love him and stand by his side no matter what people say.
  • Cadenza: A new character added to the fairytale, Cadenza was described by Disney and Variety as "the grand piano and a neurotic maestro."

'Beauty and the Beast' Posters

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

While the first poster for Beauty and the Beast only included the enchanted rose, we finally got a poster drawing from the unforgettable ballroom dance, and Belle's signature golden dress.

Where To Watch 'Beauty and the Beast' Online

Considering the 2017 version of Beauty and the Beast hasn't even come out in theaters yet, you won't be able to find it online. (Nor do we encourage bootlegging or illegally streaming movies of any sort.)

'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]
'Beauty and the Beast' [Credit: Disney]

If you want to watch the 1991 animated version, however, it is available as a rental through several sites such as iTunes, Amazon Video or Google Play.

Live-Action Disney Movies: The Complete List

Beauty and the Beast is Disney's next live-action film to hit theaters, but if the current slate is any indication, this trend shows no sign of slowing down.

The next Disney animated characters to become live-action wonders includes Mulan, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Cruella, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, The Sword In The Stone, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Winnie The Pooh, Prince Charming, Genies, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Maleficent 2, The Jungle Book 2, Mary Poppins Returns and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The live-action Beauty and the Beast will be released on March 17, 2017.


Are you excited for Disney's live-action 'Beauty and the Beast'?

[Poll image credit: Disney]