ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

We've still got quite a while before we finally get our chance to see Emma Watson don that iconic canary yellow gown as Belle in Disney's live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Thankfully, to bide away the time, the studio has already granted us a first glimpse at the enchanting poster, as well as a sneak peek at the British star in the trailer:

Yet, with anticipation at an all-time high, could another version of the epic fairytale have just smashed the upcoming blockbuster out of the ballpark?

If you thought that Bill Condon's Beauty and the Beast was the only movie on the horizon, stand corrected. An English language trailer for Christophe Gans's feature has just dropped and it could just well be the most beautiful and daring take on the classic story we've seen so far. It introduces the story of an exiled merchant, who steals a rose from a run-down castle and is sentenced to death by the Beast. His daughter, Belle, sacrifices herself, taking her father's place in the dark castle where she soon begins to peel away the layers of the troubled man behind the monstrous appearance.

Featuring French film stars Léa Seydoux (Spectre) as Belle, Vincent Cassel as the grotesque Beast with a supporting cast of André Dussollier, Eduardo Noriega, Myriam Charleins and Audrey Lamy, the movie is scheduled to shake US box offices this fall. Plunge right into the newly-released trailer with English subtitles below:

Yep, Emma Watson isn't the only Belle gearing up for her ball right about now!

You can't deny that the French version of La Belle et La Bête, which actually already premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014 and has already grossed $49.1 million worldwide, looks absolutely stunning with its kaleidoscope of visual effects and gloomy aesthetic. And let's be real, could the Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel pairing be any more perfect?

As it stands, it appears that the battle is on for the coveted spot of best Beauty and the Beast adaptation. However, as it might be some time before we can fully bow to a superior version, we are only left to compare and contrast what we can from the scenes provided. Take a look:

1. The Beast's Magical Domain

Disney (left), Gans's (right)
Disney (left), Gans's (right)

In both versions, we are given a momentary glimpse at the facade of the Beast's grand residence. Whereas Disney's adaptation borrows heavily from the dark and stormy castle of the 1991 animated feature, Christophe Gans's dilapidated fortress is lighter and completely overgrown with crawling vines and flowers.

2. A Door Into The Unknown

Disney (left), Gans's (right)
Disney (left), Gans's (right)

Indeed, both productions have captured one of the most iconic scenes of the fairy tale — the moment when Belle nervously enters the castle. Yet, while the Gans version chooses to lay out all of its cards onto the table and show Belle in all of her glory, Disney plays coy with its audiences by keeping her hidden.

3. A World Of Opulent Interiors

Whereas the outside of the castle varies in the two versions, the interiors in both trailers are equally majestic. A feast for the eyes, they feature impressive hallways, grand stairwells, intricate windows and candle-lit chandeliers omitting a light glow. What a visual treat!

4. And Finally... Our Belle!

Emma Watson (left), Léa Seydoux (right)
Emma Watson (left), Léa Seydoux (right)

Granted we don't actually see much of Emma Watson, but from the out-set it's obvious that there are huge differences between her and Léa Seydoux's Belle.

Not only is there a disparity in their appearances (have we ever had a blonde Belle?!), but the French actress' self-assured princess appears to be a far cry from the innocent, young lady Disney clearly wants to promote. For starters, this French Belle wears eye-popping corsets and engages in seductive dialogues like this:

Beast: "If you'd let me, I'd fulfill all your desires."
Belle: "A beast, fulfill a woman like me?"

Can Disney compete with such a feisty alternative to the old classic? Only time will tell.

Christophe Gans's Beauty and the Beast waltzes into selected cinemas on September 23, 2016.

Which adaptation do you think will be better?


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