This is a bit of a controversial opinion, but next year’s live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is one of our most anticipated films of… forever? Yes, we are a little tired of the remake/reboot machine, but we were pleasantly surprised by Jon Favreau’s new take on The Jungle Book, plus Kenneth Branagh’s stunning reinterpretation (those costumes!) of Cinderella. And even though there are SO many ways this could go wrong and Beauty and the Beast was a VERY formative film in this particular writer’s life, the creative team and talent involved are so incredible, we can help but be intrigued.
I mean, this film has classic and original music by Alan Menken, is being helmed by Bill Condon (the director of Chicago), and has possibly the most perfectly cast cast ever. We’ve already seen a moody teaser for the new Beauty and the Beast, but have yet to see any character designs… Until now.
This morning, some mysterious tweets — possibly from the set — popped up on Twitter. They show the big tavern scene with Lefou’s ode to Gaston, plus what Lumiere and Cogsworth might actually look like. And shortly thereafter, Jack Morrissey, a producer on the film, shared the images on his official Facebook page and confirmed that they are in fact from the film. (Thanks to io9‘s Germaine Lussier for the tip!) Take a peek below:
sO EXCITED UGH pic.twitter.com/UH0LUmygoS
— mac (@maconodom) August 25, 2016
— mac (@maconodom) August 26, 2016
Who is this Mac person? How does he have these photos? Is he involved in the production (an intern, perhaps)? Either way, we think he’s probably going to get in some trouble for these tweets, but we can’t help but be grateful he’s given us our first peek into the film. The tavern looks incredible, and those costumes — especially Gaston’s dashing red coat — are 100% spot on. On the other hand, we’re a little on the fence about these Lumiere and Cogsworth designs. Cogsworth’s teenie face is just adorable and grumpy enough, but Lumiere’s mug could be MUCH more expressive. Maybe Mac chose that particular screenshot from the original film to relay that this is them squishing up their faces for a bit. (We hope so.) Disney will almost certainly release another Beauty and the Beast trailer before the end of the year (before Moana, perhaps?) so we’re looking forward to getting the full, official look at these characters and designs then.
Still, none of this has tempered our excitement. Every single character is perfectly cast, from Belle (Emma Watson) to the trio of enchanted objects (Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson) to Gaston (Luke Evans) and Lefou (Josh Gad) and even the Beast (Dan Stevens). (If you haven’t seen Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s thriller The Guest, watch it now and you’ll understand exactly why “the guy from Downton Abbey” was cast.)
Plus, they’re all going to be SINGING! Though Disney has been remaking its classic animated features as live action films for some time now, next year’s Beauty and the Beast marks the first true musical adaptation to date. (Yes, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book had two songs in it, but was not technically classified as a musical.) Iconic composer Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Hercules–just to name a few) is returning to the world of Beauty and the Beast to recreate the original film’s classic songs and write a few new tunes, too.
Essentially, this movie holds all of our hopes and dreams in its hands. We are dying for it to be good. Please make it so, Disney. Make it so.
What do you think of these possible character designs? Are you looking forward to a live-action Beauty and the Beast? Let us know in the comments below!
And if you want to win the exclusive, ultra-rare Godzilla figure from Bandai and Bluefin that we showcased on Nerdist News, keep your eyes peeled on the site for more details later today!
Beauty and the Beast hits theaters March 17, 2017 (this writer’s birthday weekend. Coincidence? WE THINK NOT).
Rachel Heine is the Editor-in-Chief of Nerdist and loves Beauty and the Beast juuuust a little bit. Chat with her about it on Twitter @RachelHeine!