It’s been years since we’ve heard a solid update on Guillermo del Toro’s live-action Beauty and the Beast adaptation. Harry Potter star Emma Watson attached herself as the lead back in 2012, and del Toro continued to develop the project as he tackled Pacific Rim. Today we have serious movement on the Warner Bros. pic, but unfortunately it’s not exactly good news. The ever-busy del Toro has now withdrawn himself from the project as director, opting instead to simply produce the pic. Hit the jump for more.
Per Deadline, Guillermo del Toro will no longer be directing Beauty and the Beast at Warner Bros., but he will remain involved with the project as a producer alongside Denise DiNovi. Scheduling conflicts are singled out as the reason for del Toro’s departure, and one imagines Warner Bros. was ready to get this thing off the ground after years of development.
The studio is already competing with Disney on a live-action The Jungle Book (WB has Andy Serkis directing its version, while Jon Favreau is directing the Disney iteration), and with the recent news that Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) is directing a big live-action musical adaptation of Beauty and the Beast also at Disney, Warner Bros. likely felt it was time for del Toro to choose this as his next project or step aside.
It appears that Watson is still attached to star in the revisionist take, and Warner Bros. has started the process of finding a new director. I’ll admit I’m disappointed I won’t be seeing a del Toro-helmed version of Beauty and the Beast (not to mention a collaboration with Watson), but Warners has been choosing interesting directors for these kinds of projects recently, so I’ll be interested to see who they choose. Before Serkis landed Jungle Book, the studio was in talks with Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Del Toro just began post-production on his Gothic romance haunted house drama Crimson Peak, and he told us last year that he had a very good idea of what his next project would be. Moreover, we recently heard that he’s writing Pacific Rim 2, so that one’s a possibility as well.