Pretty much everyone has a distinct personal connection to the characters of the classic Disney tales, which makes portraying them on the silver screen all the more difficult. Harry Potter actress Emma Watson will soon take on that challenge and step into the role of Belle for Bill Condon's live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, and it goes without saying that she has some big shoes to fill. This raises a question: what do the people closest to the original 1991 animated film think about her casting? As it turns out: they love it. Beauty and the Beast composer Alan Menken specifically said:
That's pretty high praise from one of the men responsible for the original 1991 classic; he knows Belle better than almost anybody. Alan Menken recently spoke to EW regarding the 25th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast, and the conversation inevitably turned to the upcoming live-action adaptation starring Emma Watson. He admitted that he's incredibly supportive of the casting decision, and at this point he cannot imagine any other contemporary actress taking on the beloved role.
Of course, Emma Watson doesn't have to carry the weight of the entire film on her shoulders alone; she'll be joined by an army of talented performers that will help to considerably lighten the load. In addition to Ms. Watson, Beauty and the Beast has also enlisted the acting chops of Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Josh Gad, Kevin Line, and Luke Evans. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better overall ensemble of performers to bring this iconic Disney tale to life.
Even without that support system, we have complete faith in Emma Watson's acting talents. After all, watching her incarnation of Belle rebuff the advances of the burly Gaston in live-action is the sort of treat that many self-respecting Disney fans have waited years to see:
Portraying characters from iconic tales like Beauty and the Beast has become an incredibly hit or miss phenomenon for many actors. Some performers completely nail it, like Meryl Streep as The Witch in Rob Marshall's Into the Woods, but other performer don't do quite as well, such as Kristen Stewart as Snow White in Snow White and the Huntsman. Emma Watson has consistently proven herself as a bold performer with a strong track record in the realm of fantasy, so she seems perfectly suited to take on the legendary role of Belle. Much like Alan Menken, we're on-board with the direction of Bill Condon's film.
CinemaBlend will bring you any and all relevant details related to the upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast as more information becomes available to us. The film is currently slated to hit theaters on March 17, 2017, and the original animated classic will return to theaters this month to honor its 25th anniversary. Make sure to check it out!