Posted on Monday, November 23rd, 2009 by Russ Fischer
The impending existence of the film Beastly, a modern and teen-centric version of Beauty and the Beast, had escaped me until now. But with the power of the teen dollar once again having been reasserted over the weekend, it’s time to get the promotions cranking for films that might siphon off a bit of that cashflow. And so here’s a brief teaser for Beastly. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The teaser is available at the film’s official site. It doesn’t give much away, but this take on the story, based on the novel by Alex Finn, follows a young man (Alex Pettyfer), rich, entitled and egocentric. He’s cursed by Kendra, a gothy girl at his prep school (Mary-Kate Olsen, appropriately), to transform into some sort of beast. But Vanessa Hudgens sees the real soul inside. Neil Patrick Harris and Peter Krause are onboard as well. Daniel Barnz writes and directs.
I’ve got no problem with the reinterpretation of this story, in theory. Finn’s novel may be great. It’s all about execution. And what we’re shown here, from the leaden ‘this is my story’ opening to the weird and not terribly beastly Jim Rose Circus Sideshow design of the main character’s beast form, I’m not sold. Not even interested, really.
Here’s the book jacket description, and below is an embed of the teaser.
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A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster. You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell. Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.