Be our guest, be our guest, and enjoy this spectacular first look at Bill Condon’s live-action Beauty and the Beast. The stunning musical stars Harry Potter icon Emma Watson as Belle, and it glides into theaters next March. After watching this, it seems like an eternity! Give it a play:
The first trailer for Bill Condon’s attempt at a live-action Beauty and the Beast doesn’t give us examples of the cast singing. In fact, there’s very little dialogue at all, beyond Emma Watson, as Belle, calling "Hello" into the vast, not-empty castle. We do get a snippet of conversation between Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) and, I believe, Cogsworth (Sir Ian McKellen), debating whether Belle might be "the one," and we all know that means she might be the one who breaks the spell that turns the handsome prince from a Beast (Dan Stevens) back into a human. That’s when the familiar music begins to swell, and even though we don’t hear the cast singing, the tune is enough to give us goosebumps as we wait, with anticipation, for what could be a spectacular live-action musical.
Disney has been on a special run lately, and converting the studio’s animation classics into live-action hits is just the latest step toward theatrical domination. After turning Cinderella into a hit with the help of Kenneth Branagh, Cate Blanchett and Lily James, Disney had a gargantuan hit earlier this year with The Jungle Book, setting Jon Favreau loose in a green-screened jungle and managing to incorporate a few familiar tunes.
Beauty and the Beast, pardon the pun, will be a totally different animal. Even Josh Gad, who sat down with CinemaBlend recently, told us that the expectations of the audience FOR these particular Beauty and the Beast songs added extra pressure on the cast. They know they have to get that part right, or the rest of it won’t matter.
The "rest," as we can tell by this trailer though, looks like it might really deliver. Beast’s castle looks like an exquisite piece of production art, and the mood set by the opening shots of the trailer suggest that Bill Condon has the right eye to bring Beauty and the Beast to the big screen. Sadly, we only get the briefest glimpse of Belle (Emma Watson) as she reaches for the important rose. And there are parts of this that we are DYING to see… namely, what the Beast will look like in live-action, and what the animated instruments around his castle will look like. We know that Emma Thompson, Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, McGregor, McKellen, and more are lending their voices to the movie. But what will Mrs. Potts, Plumette, Le Fou and Cadenza LOOK like? I think that will be important.
This is our first look at Beauty and the Beast. We will get plenty more as we get closer to the film’s March 17 2017 release date.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.