Beauty and the Beast adaptations get more confusing

Beauty and the Beast is clearly the next adaptation obsession, after two years of hearing about Snow White

As we previously reported, The CW has ordered a pilot based on a script it commissioned for a remake of the 80’s series Beauty and the Beast, which starred Linda Hamilton & Ron Perlman. Meanwhile, ABC, a Disney owned network, has ordered a pilot for a show based on the classic French fairy tale which will actually take place in a pseudo-medieval setting. The latter announcement hit just days before the release of the Animated Disney feature which made its way back into theaters – in 3D – as well as onto Blu-ray.

We also have news that Warner Bros. is developing a film based on the Robin McKinley novel called Beauty. At the time I surmised that WB would want to change the name of the film, since the ABC series is using that name already. Well, I suppose ABC decided to head them off at the pass, and changed their title to simply Beauty and the Beast. The problem? That’s already the title of the CW show. 

I can’t imagine that ABC is oblivious to the development going on over at The CW, so my guess is that they are attempting to force the smaller network to change the name of their show.

Think about it – both networks would obviously prefer if there weren’t two separate shows debuting at (around) the same time with the same name. It would certainly be bad for marketing clarity, but no one has the ‘rights’ to the name Beauty and the Beast. It’s been in the public domain for a long time. It’s like a game of chicken, but ABC is in a monster truck, and The CW is on a moped, so I don’t doubt who will swerve first. 

We have this synopsis of the ABC show:

A fantasy re-imagining of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale wherein an embattled princess, Grace, discovers an unlikely connection with a mysterious beast.

So, it’s not like the original Beauty and the Beast, or even like the animated Disney adaptation, at all. That’s a strange decision.

We also have news that ABC has cast one of the supporting characters for its show. Little known Chris Egan will take on the role of the princesses’ fiancé, which is odd because the leads are almost always cast before the supporting characters. 

The CW has already cast one of its leads. Kristen Kruek signed on recently to play the role once taken on by Linda Hamilton: the professionally minded woman who falls in love with an ugly guy living in the sewers. Kruek you would recognize as having played Lana Lang on Smallville for many years.

ABC’s Beauty and the Beast and The CW’s Beauty and the Beast are slated to begin this fall if there are no delays. Beauty is still in development, and has no announced production or release dates.