By Liya Kebede
Beauty and the Beast is a beloved fairy-tale that originated from France and was written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. The story, after going through multiple rewrites, has stood the test of time, resulting in many altered versions. 251 years later, Walt-Disney Pictures made their own remake of the historical tale and turned it into a romantic, musical childrens film.
Now, on March 17, 2017, Disney will recreate their own version of Beauty and the Beast as a live-action film, starring Emma Watson, the British actress most well known for her role as Hermione in Harry Potter, as Belle; The Beast will be played by Dan Stevens, who has starred in shows like Downton Abbey. There is currently a debate going on about whether or not a live action adaptation is necessary or appropriate. Director Bill Condon says, “I wouldn’t say we’re changing the story so much as sort of making connections that, in a lot of cases, were right under the surface.” The argument is split everywhere, including at our very own Hammond High School.
Freshman Sam Mercedes says he “doesn’t have a problem with [the adaption], but it will never come close to the animation.” This is the opinion many people on social media are sharing as well. However, there is a counter-argument: Trinity Addo, sophomore, says “I think live action films are just fun to watch[…] animated movies being made into live action movies are interesting.”
Another point, brought up by senior Johely Jimenez, is that animations are predominantly catered towards children, while with a live action film, “…adults can see it too.” While feelings about the new Beauty and the Beast film are split, there remains some Disney classics that almost everyone wants to see made into live action films.
Abby Richards, freshman, comments “[I] would really like to see Tangled just to see the visual effects… I think it’d be really cool.” Many more students also said Tangled would be their top pick, but Mulan and Brave were also brought up multiple times.
More live action Disney films are in the talks of production, like The Lion King and The Jungle Book 2. Jon Favreau, the director of The Jungle Book live action film that was released in 2016, is the planned director for both new productions. In terms of box-office success, The Jungle Book did amazing during the opening weekend, grossing 103.6 million dollars in the U.S alone. It broke the $900 million mile-stone with worldwide sales, proving it to be a success.
A sequel to the film is currently in the planning stages, as well as a new live action version of The Lion King. Favreau commented on many people’s concerns about how the new film will be produced, saying in an interview with Haleigh Foutch of the Collider, “[The Lion King] comes [with] such a tremendous responsibility because you don’t want to do anything that undermines people’s connection to the original, which is so wonderful.”