"Beauty and the Beast" may be the most anticipated movie of 2017.
When the first teaser trailer was released in the spring, it was viewed a record 91.8 million times in its first 24 hours--beating the likes of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (88 million views), "Captain America: Civil War" (61 million views) and "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (55 million views). The teaser trailer focused on Beast's castle and offered only a glimpse of the beloved princess.
The live-action adaptation boasts an ensemble cast that includes Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, Ewan McGregor as Lumire, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Dan Stevens as Beast, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza and Emma Watson as Belle.
Entertainment Weekly gave fans their first look at all the characters in its Nov. 11 issue. On Monday, Good Morning America debuted the first full-length trailer for Disney's movie musical.
As was true of "Alice in Wonderland" (2010), "Maleficent" (2014), "Cinderella" (2015), "The Jungle Book" (2016) and "Pete's Dragon" (2016), Walt Disney Pictures' Beauty and the Beast was reinterpreted to appeal to modern audiences. "It wasn't about changing anything," producer David Hoberman insisted. "It was about adding dimension to it. We give [fans] everything that they expect and more--no more for more's sake, more for story's sake and character's sake."
"Beauty and the Beast" was the third highest-grossing film of 1991 (and the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars). But times have change since then. "I definitely had issues with the script at the beginning," recalled Watson, who is a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. "We tried to tweak things to make Belle more proactive and a bit more in charge of her own destiny. In the animated movie, it's her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle. We created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read."
"Beauty and the Beast" is in theaters March 17, 2017.