Rumor: Could Bill Condon Direct Disney’s Live-Action BEAUTY AND THE BEAST?

     April 11, 2014

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Though it’s taken a few years to come to fruition, Disney’s billion-dollar-grossing Alice in Wonderland kicked off a new trend for the studio in 2010.  It has slowly been working on live-action adaptations of some of the studio’s classic animated films, and we’ll see the next one this May in the form of Maleficent, which tells the Sleeping Beauty story from the villain’s point of view.  After that, we have Kenneth Branagh’s live-action Cinderella set for release in March 2015, Jon Favreau is directing a live-action take on The Jungle Book for release in October 2015, and there is also a redo of Beauty and the Beast in the works.

While Disney set a writer on Beauty and the Beast early last year, we haven’t heard much more about the project in the interim.  However, if a new report is to be believed, the studio may have found a director in Dreamgirls and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn helmer Bill Condon.  More after the jump.

bill-condon-beauty-and-the-beastPer a single tweet from Film Divider, Bill Condon is expected to direct Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast film.  Now this rumor is to be taken with a grain of salt since this is a rather new publication and we’re not quite sure how solid their sources are, but the decision kind of makes sense.

Though many know Condon as the director behind the final two installments in the Twilight franchise, he’s actually a quite accomplished filmmaker with experience in intense, character-focused stories like 1998’s excellent Gods and Monsters (which won him an Oscar for screenwriting) and 2004’s engaging Kinsey.  He’s also adept at theatricality having written and directed the musical Dreamgirls, in addition to penning the script for Chicago.

There’s no word on whether Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast would actually be a musical, but if it is and Condon is the guy, this is an exciting prospect.  Again, nothing is certain, but with Cinderella in the can and The Jungle Book barreling towards production, Disney must be looking to move forward on its next live-action redo soon.

Separate from Disney, there are also a couple of other animated classics being turned into live-action films at other studios.  Universal Pictures has Sofia Coppola attached to direct a new iteration of The Little Mermaid, and there’s also Warner Bros.’ take on Beauty and the Beast that Guillermo del Toro has been developing to direct with Emma Watson in the lead.  Then there’s the other The Jungle Book live-action adaptation at Warner Bros. with Andy Serkis directing.

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