Emma Watson, who is of course best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, is set to lead Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of the well known fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, ComingSoon.net report.
The tale was first published in the eighteenth century, and popularised best by Disney in their brilliant 1991 animated adaptation of the tale.
The news comes from producer Denise Di Novi (The Nightmare Before Christmas; Crazy, Stupid, Love.), who says that she and del Toro are developing the adaptation together with Watson set to headline. The specifics of the project are currently being kept to a minimum, and it will be interesting to see the plot synopsis when it emerges.
In the original tale, for example, Belle has two wicked sisters that serve as the antagonists, but in the Disney adaptation, Belle is an only child and it is Gaston and the mob that try and kill the Beast. Just as interesting, of course, will be how del Toro will look to visually bring the tale to life. Animating the Beast made things easier for Disney, but if del Toro were to want a live-action adaptation, and his previous direction certainly suggests he will, then creating the Beast will definitely be something interesting to look forward to.
If anyone can bring the Beast to life in a live-action film, though, it’s del Toro. The makeup teams on his previous films, like Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, have been incredibly impressive, with the latter winning three Academy Awards for Best Makeup, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography back in 2007.
Watson is currently riding high on the successes of the final instalment of the Harry Potter franchise, which has been breaking records across the globe this past weekend with its release, taking more than $480m. internationally at the box office in three days. She’ll also be seen at the end of this year in British film, My Week With Marilyn, due out in November, in which she will star alongside Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Dominic Cooper, and Judi Dench.
With details about the film still at a minimum, it is not yet known if del Toro will be looking to direct this film himself or serve as a producer alongside Di Novi. His next film, Pacific Rim, starring Idris Elba and Charlie Day, will soon be going into production, and with his directing schedule looking empty beyond that, he could well decide to take on Beauty and the Beast himself, and I’m sure there are a lot of people who would be interested to see his take on the tale.