Beauty and the Beast is a classic fairy tale that’s seen many permutations and imitations in modern times.
You may even recall that with the 1976 and Peter Jackson remakes of King Kong, both versions tried to sell themselves as a somewhat familiar love story. (Don’t forget the original’s classic line, “T’was beauty who killed the beast.”)
So when I saw the recent news that Guilermo Del Toro’s going to do a Beauty and the Beast redo, I was somewhat confused, because apparently the show Beauty and the Beast, which starred Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, is slated to return to ABC for a reboot. Plus, there is supposed to be a French version starring Vincent Cassell that starts shooting in October.
According to Variety, Del Toro’s version will simply be titled Beast, and is slated to star Harry Potter’s Emma Watson. This will be for Warner Brothers, with Bridget Jones’s Diary screenwriter Andrew Davies slated to adapt the story.
It’s not clear if Del Toro will do Beauty next, or head off to a number of other projects he’s got lined up, including his take on Disney’s Haunted Mansion attraction, the planned remakes of Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and of course, his long time dream project, At the Mountains of Madness.
Madness was going to be set up at Universal, and as you may recall, Universal finally passed on it, even with James Cameron producing and Tom Cruise starring because it would be a $150 million R-rated movie, and making more Fast and Furious movies, as well as Battleship, somehow seemed a smarter idea. He quickly went into Pacific Rim following the collapse of Mountains, but you know Del Toro’s probably never give up on it as long as he’s breathing.
You may also remember that Del Toro was going to direct The Hobbit before Peter Jackson came back on board. If The Haunted Mansion goes forward, Del Toro told Total Film it won’t be a comedy, but a true haunted house movie, “really spooky like the mansion!” As we just reported on TG, there’s also at least two Frankenstein movies in the works right now, and who knows if that will stop Del Toro’s long in gestation Frankenstein from getting made. (At the moment, there aren’t three or four Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hydes in the works, to the best of my knowledge, so maybe that will work out).
As Drew McWeeny, who went under the geek nom de plume Moriarty on Aint-It-Cool-News, writes on Hitfix, “This seems like a very natural fit of filmmaker and material, and it certainly answers the question of whether or not other filmmakers will hire Emma Watson. I think she’s earned her starring roles in films, and I’m mystified by anyone who doesn’t think she’s developed into an interesting and distinct young actor, maybe the strongest of the young Harry Potter cast.”
As McWeeny also reports, with Del Toro currently filming Pacific Rim, he’s “working out some of his most deeply-felt geek fetishes, giant monsters and giant robots. He is one of the people who I’ve heard speak about the importance of attaching yourself to many, many, many projects knowing that many of them will end up dead before they ever made it to the screen.”