The classic Walt Disney animated films have become ripe fodder for big budget live action remakes. They've already updated 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' twice, they've filmed a new version of 'Sleeping Beauty' ('Maleficent'), and are working on a re-imaging of 'Cinderella.' But they're far from done mining these classics, as Disney is now looking to do a new gritty version of 'Beauty and the Beast,' called 'The Beast.'

Currently Disney is working with screenwriter Joe Ahearne (who penned the upcoming movie 'Trance') on a darker live action (and possibly 3D) take on the material, according to Deadline Hollywood. Though no director is currently attached, if Disney is pursuing this, it seems more than likely a go project.

The material has already been turned into at least three movies (one by French filmmaker Jean Cocteau, the Disney animated film from 1991, and, um, 'Beastly'), and has been fodder for two television shows at this point, so either the material has already been well mined, or it's evergreen.

We thought 'Snow White and the Huntsman' wasn't all that good, and we're sort of baffled by this trend, other than the fact that the material is well known to the public and is in the public domain. But as tentpole releases need to have a brand to be sold, it's slightly better than board games as a starting point. Still, why do they have to be dark and gritty? Unless the other films of its ilk tank, we'd expect this in 2015 or 2016.

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