'Perks of Being a Wallflower' Scribe Tackling 'Beauty and the Beast'
After bringing his own iconic coming-of-age book The Perks of Being a Wallflower to the big screen, Stephen Chbosky is tackling another big screen adaptation. EW has learned that the author turned screenwriter and director has come on board Disney's live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, adapted from the studio's 1991 animated musical. Dreamgirls director Bill Condon is still getting behind the camera for the film, but Chbosky will write a new draft of the script. Previously we heard the film would be a "straight-forward, live-action, large-budget movie musical," but could that change with Chbosky on board?
It's unlikely that the musical elements of the film will go away, especially since they plan to use most of the songs written by Alan Menken, Tim Rice and Howard Ashman from the stage play and the animated Disney film. But maybe the young adult angle will be played up more than it was in the original script from Evan Spiliotopoulos (Hercules). Condon has experience with both musicals and young adult fare since besides directing Dreamgirls, he's also coming off the two-part finale of The Twilight Saga, so he should be ready.
Surely Disney is hoping they have another live-action hit on their hands just like Maleficent, but it's hard to say whether the success of that film was driven by Disney's brand recognition or the star power of Angelina Jolie. The real test will be when Disney's live-action adaptation of Cinderella arrives next March. Interestingly enough, Perks of Being a Wallflower actress Emma Watson is slated to star in a different adaptation of Beauty and the Beast at Warner Bros., but the studio is looking for a new director since Guillermo del Toro is just too busy to follow through. Disney will likely win this race, but stay tuned to see how both of these adaptations of the classic tale as old as time develop.