Disney has been on a roll lately with its live-action adaptations of past animated classics, with Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Pete’s Dragon all offering up unique and refreshing takes on their previous incarnations. But the studio faces its biggest test yet when Beauty and the Beast hits theaters next year: Millennial nostalgia. The studio has been tight-lipped on the live-action musical adaptation thus far, with only a simple teaser trailer with a brief second of actual human footage, but now it appears our first look at the film’s Lumiere and Cogsworth have arrived, and it’s certainly striking.
Ewan McGregor voices the candelabra Lumiere while Ian McKellen assumes the role of the clock Cogsworth, and fans were certainly curious to see how director Bill Condon would realize these characters opposite live-action performers. They look like something from a Guillermo del Toro movie, and I’m very curious to see what they look like in motion. Visual effects have advanced leagues in the past 20 years, but blending live-action performers with CG characters is still some tricky business.
The image first surfaced on Twitter (via Erik Davis) along with another photo that appears to reveal Luke Evans performing “Gaston” alongside Josh Gad as Le Fou, and now they’ve been officially posted by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook. I imagine we’ll be getting a much fuller trailer during the holiday season, but these new peeks behind the scenes (which are apparently from the 25th anniversary Blu-ray edition of the animated film) are mighty curious.
The project as a whole is incredibly promising, with the filmmaker behind Dreamgirls and Kinsey shepherding this lavish musical. One thing that’s been clear from Disney’s live-action updates thus far is they’re allowing the directors to put their own signature stamps on the material, so count me in for a fully fledged musical.
Check out the images below. The film also stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci, and Kevin Kline. Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17, 2017.