After a slew of so-so movies that reimagined fairy tales with grittier aesthetics (Snow White And The Huntsman, Jack The Giant Slayer, Red Riding Hood), the success of Disney’s Maleficent proved that what people really want to see is the images they’ve loved since childhood rearranged in a new order with a few twists thrown in. (See also: ABC’s Once Upon A Time.) As such, Disney’s latest strategy involves directly adapting its beloved animated properties into live-action films. The Kenneth Branagh-directed Cinderella hits theaters March 2015 while Jon Favreau is currently working on a remake of The Jungle Book. The third big adaptation in this vein is the Bill Condon-helmed Beauty And The Beast, which will directly adapt the 1991 Oscar-nominated animated feature and include music from the film and its Broadway adaptation.
Evan Spiliotopoulos (whose eclectic screenwriting credits including The Rock’s Hercules, as well as a slew of direct-to-video Disney animated sequels) has already finished a draft of the script. According to /Film, Stephen Chbosky has now been called in to do a rewrite. Best known as the author, screenwriter, and director behind The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Chbosky can bring his experience with bookish teens thrust into terrifying environments to the story of a bookish teen thrust into a terrifying environment. (Whether or not Belle will swear to “be infinite” while watching anthropormized dishes dance remains to be seen.)
/Film further speculates that, although Emma Watson has long been attached to a different live-action version of Beauty And The Beast (which is being written and produced by Guillermo del Toro), she may be tempted to switch projects, so as to reunite with her former Perks Of Being A Wallflower director. Should she change her mind, we recommend she do so while belting out this number: