Aah, remember just three weeks ago when we all thought Disney was about to introduce the studio’s first openly gay character? Director Bill Condon said his live-action Beauty and the Beast remake would feature a character having an “exclusively gay moment,” and described Josh Gad‘s LeFou as someone who both wants to be Gaston (Luke Evans), and kiss Gaston. Then critics saw the movie and found no openly gay character in sight. The investigation continues into what exactly an “exclusively gay moment” is – if anyone has figured it out, please let me know – but it’s certainly not whatever happened at the end of Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast
It might be a tale as old as time, but audiences have proven there’s still a few petals left on that old flower. Despite being projected to open at somewhere between $214–245 million worldwide, Beauty and the Beast knocked the pants off those projections, eclipsing $350 million at the international box office and setting a March record for domestic releases along the way. Let’s take a look at how things shook out this past weekend with some of the expected grosses.
One of the things that’s different about the new Beauty and the Beast — other than the fact that it’s live-action — is that it’s 45 minutes longer than the original animated movie. There are a few new additions: expanded characters, three completely new songs, and some extended flashbacks. One of these flashbacks is an answer to one mystery die-hard Beauty and the Beast fans have been asking since 1991: What happened to Belle’s mother?
For many of us, the main draw of the new live-action Beauty and the Beast is Luke Evans’ dangerously handsome Gaston. The classic Disney villain arguably has the best song in the entire original movie, and probably the snazziest outfit of all the Disney baddies. While Belle got a bit of a character upgrade for the new movie (she is now the inventor, instead of her father, because director Bill Condon figured the townspeople need more of a reason to think she’s weird than… she reads books), Gaston also got one too, and it very well might make you like him a little.
At first, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast might not look all that different from the 1991 original. Emma Watson‘s Belle shares a dance with the Beast (Dan Stevens) in her iconic yellow gown, the servants are as charming as ever, and the story is relatively the same. But there are some new flourishes that distinguish the remake from the classic many of us grew up with.
Everyone who knows The Lion King remembers that signature opening sequence with the classic musical number “The Circle of Life.” But did you know this great scene was originally planned without the song? Originally, Disney filmmakers thought this sequence would be heavy on dialogue, laying out all the various characters and aspects of the plot. But then they heard the instrumental version of “Circle of Life” and realized the scene would be much stronger by letting it play. That’s just one of the kingly facts in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
Once upon a time, a man with a dream turned a small animation studio into a global empire. Much of that success was built on a series of wildly popular feature films, many of which shared a common figure: A beautiful, heroic princess. The man was Walt Disney and even after he passed away in 1966, his company continued to dedicate much of its creative energy on films (and television shows and untold tons of merchandise) dedicated to princesses. The latest, a live-action version of the studio’s Oscar-nominated cartoon Beauty and the Beast, opens in theaters on Friday. In its honor, the staff of ScreenCrush (and Mousterpiece Cinema co-host Josh Spiegel) decided to rank every single Disney princess in history.
Earlier today, it looked like the Cold War was about to ramp back up again (as if it hasn’t already) when it was announced that Russia might be banning the new live-action Beauty and the Beast because of that “exclusively gay moment” involving Gaston’s sidekick LeFou (Josh Gad). But never fear, reports of Russia’s response to the movie have been overblown (much like the response over here to that particular scene): instead of banning it outright, they’re giving it a mature rating.
In a refreshing change of pace, international tensions with Russia have increased due to something other than statements issued from the executive branch of the federal government. The latest subject of global controversy is none other than Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s new live-action remounting of the classic animated fantasy-romance. And rest assured, it’s not the sacrilege of revising the high-water mark of Disney’s ‘90s run that the Russkies are ticked off about. Not since the James Franco/Seth Rogen comedy vehicle The Interview nearly set off World War III with North Korea has Hollywood come this close to igniting a powder keg, and all because LeFou has come out of the closet.
Last week it seemed like the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake was about to make history with the Disney’s first openly gay character. But now director Bill Condon says the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.