Disney: 'Beauty and the Beast' Remake + Emma Watson Not 'Cinderella'
by Ethan Anderton
March 12, 2013
Here's a strange web of interconnected news. Just at the end of last month we learned that Emma Watson was in talks for the title role in a live-action version of Disney's famous fairytale Cinderella. However, Variety reports that she is no longer taking the role. The move did seem surprising since Watson was said to be part of a new take on Beauty and the Beast with Guillermo del Toro producing. In a strange twist, there's news that Disney is working on their own live-action version of the familiar tale with they turned into the first animated Best Picture nominee in 1991. Sounds like they want to beat del Toro to the punch.
Deadline has word that Disney has tapped writer Joe Ahearne, the British writer who worked on Danny Boyle's new thriller Trance, to write a film called The Beast. The title alone seems to throw the fairytale nature of the story aside, and bringing on a writer like Ahearne seems to indicate this will be a bit darker. Of course, this is Disney, and they just had a clash with Mark Romanek over his take on Cinderella which was said to be a little too dark for the studio, so they won't be going too crazy with a revisionist take on the story. This just goes to show you that the fairytale revamp trend isn't going anywhere, especially with Oz: The Great and Powerful making some serious coin last weekend.
As for Cinderella, it's a bit disappointing that we're losing Watson as Cinderella, but previous names like Saoirse Ronan (Hanna), Gabriella Wilde (The Three Musketeers) Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair) have also tested for the role, so maybe one of their names will be announced soon instead. In addition, I'm hoping Watson falls away from del Toro's Beauty and the Beast project, if only because we don't need yet another set of competing pictures. It seems to be happening more frequently than it used to in the past, and del Toro is pretty busy, so maybe we'll be in the clear. Thoughts?