bill condon eyes bride of frankenstein

Bill Condon, whose Beauty and the Beast remake has become a box office monster with a $1 billion-plus haul worldwide, is reportedly looking to direct the remake of Bride of Frankenstein as part of the new Universal Monsters movie universe.

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Beauty and the Beast Theme Song Remake

This month, Beauty and the Beast joins Alice in WonderlandSleeping BeautyCinderella, and The Jungle Book on the list of Disney animated features that have undergone live-action makeovers. And over the next few years, that list is only going to grow. It seems like every week brings a major update on yet another Disney fairy tale, and the studio’s already got several dates set aside for these projects through 2019. Let’s take a look at all the Disney live-action remakes in development right now. Read More »

beauty and the beast compared to the original

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast.)

Once Walt Disney Pictures began adapting its animated classics for live-action, starting with Tim Burton’s 2010 take on Alice in Wonderland and moving into villain-centered fairy tales like Maleficent, it was a safe bet that a new version of Beauty and the Beast wouldn’t be too far behind. The 1991 film is beloved the world over and was a central part of pop culture for countless Millennials growing up. Plus, it garnered heaps of critical praise and a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars, the first for an animated film. So it’s no surprise that Disney has gone all-in with its live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast: it boasts an all-star cast including Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans, and more; its director, Bill Condon, has directed everything from entries in the Twilight Saga to the Dreamgirls musical adaptation; and its reported $160 million budget is evident in the sets, costumes, and extensive CGI.

But can the new Beauty and the Beast compare to the 1991 classic? Does this remake feel as timeless as the film that inspired its existence? Or do its changes — and there are quite a few — feel dull and lifeless? Let’s dive in and compare the original and its remake to find out.

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Beauty and the Beast review

Whenever there’s news of a remake or reboot of an old and beloved movie, the reactions usually range from cautious optimism to some variation on “only when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” In the case of Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast, it’s the movie itself to which those latter adjectives apply.

This isn’t to say that the movie’s got nothing going on; if anything, it has too much going on. Padded out with 45 extra minutes, the movie’s M.O. is to take everything in the original and crank it up from ten to twenty. There’s more magic, more backstory, more cutlery, more dance breaks, more everything. It feels like love up to a point, the way the best stories get embellished with time, but when the new songs come clunking to remind you of exactly what it takes to get a Best Original Song nomination (and how good the old songs are), the proceedings start to feel a little less genuine.

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Beauty and the Beast

(Welcome to /Responses, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team celebrated the arrival of Beauty and the Beast by writing about our all-time favorite movie musicals. We then opened the floor to our readers: what is your favorite movie musical? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question: which book (novel or non-fiction) do you want to see adapted into a movie? Who would star in it and who would direct it? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

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Beauty and the Beast Featurette

(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast.)

Bill Condon was nervous to make the live-action Beauty and the Beast. That’s understandable. Any filmmaker would tread lightly with Disney’s modern animated classic directly in the rearview mirror.

But it’s not just the delightful singing teapot that makes a new adaptation risky; it’s also a beloved fairytale that’s older than the United States, crafted from a story several thousand years old, and remade dozens of times over. With any brand of dusty antique magic, there’s got to be something special that justifies its existence. That fine balance between staying true to the spirit of the animated movie that first enchanted us while giving us something new enough to explain why we aren’t simply reaching for a DVD we already own.

To make matters even more challenging, Beauty and the Beast isn’t only contending with its own history, but with a cinematic history filled with other fairytales, fantasies, and musical wonders. For something with a history like this, it isn’t just Angela Lansbury crooning the unlikely romance between a bookish beauty and lion-faced dandy into existence that we need to consider. Plus, you probably already have it queued up for a double-feature.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the other cinematic connections to be found in Beauty and the Beast.

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beauty and the beast imax ratio

Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast is out in theaters today and it is, by all accounts, a visual marvel. So when director Bill Condon, a filmmaker with his fair share of experience in directing lavish and colorful films, sits down for a new featurette and explains how the best possible way to watch his movie is on an IMAX screen, maybe we should listen.

We are pleased to debut this new video, which you can watch below.

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bill condon directing beauty and the beast emma watson on set

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down filmmaker Bill Condon to talk about his live-action adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. We discussed the changes he made to the Disney classic, hiding Universal horror homages in his work, the film’s incredible production design, and a taste of the deleted scenes fans can expect on the inevitable home video release. Read our full Bill Condon interview below!

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Tarzan - Disney Easter Eggs

Any Pixar Animation fan can tell you that the computer animation studio loves to sneak characters from their upcoming movies into the preceding releases that hit theaters. We even featured a video that shows off a kind of Russian nesting doll of Pixar characater Easter eggs. But they’re not the only ones to have some fun with their character library.

Walt Disney Animation has been putting character Easter eggs in their movies for years, and a new video points out some of them. It’s not quite as organized like the chronological Pixar video, but it does have some Disney Easter eggs that I wasn’t aware of at all. Watch below! Read More »

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Beauty and the Beast Honest Trailer

With the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast arriving in theaters this week, it should come as no surprise that Honest Trailers has taken aim at Disney’s modern animated classic on which it’s based. If you’ve ever thought the story of a woman who falls in love with the hairy cursed prince who forces her to stay in his castle was a bit of a perplexing romance, then you already know what to expect from the Beauty and the Beast Honest Trailer. But the good news is that they continue their streak of parodying songs, if that’s something you enjoy. Read More »