Walt Disney Picture’s live-action fairy tale (re-)adaptations have earned big returns at the box office recently, which is why even more are on the way. The one that’s expected to begin shooting this year is Beauty and the Beast, a film that has Oscar-winner Bill Condon (Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & 2) serving at the helm and Emma Watson confirmed to star as Belle, drawing from a screenplay by her Perks of Being a Wallflower writer/director, Stephen Chbosky.
The next big casting announcement, of course, will concern the role of The Beast: the prince who is magically transformed into a monster as punishment for his selfish and cruel behavior before he crosses paths with the lovely young Belle, in the story. Traditionally, the duality of the character is reflected through his human form being especially attractive – which is why it’s easy to believe that Ryan Gosling is being sought for the role, as a fresh report claims.
This news comes from The Tracking Board – a source that tends to be hit/miss with its exclusives. Case in point, although the article claims that Gosling has been offered the role of The Beast, there’s no mention of how likely he is to sign a deal – much less, whether he’s interested in the part.
Gosling also has a history of turning down roles in big studio projects (see Sony having eyed him to appear in the Spider-Man and Ghostbusters franchises last year), in favor of working on lower-budgeted and/or independent films. Case in point, in 2016 Gosling will costar in Shane Black’s Noir throwback The Nice Guys, and he recently lined up to appear in the financial crisis drama The Big Short. His directorial debut Lost River also releases in theaters later this year; though, judging by the poor initial reception, it doesn’t sound as though Gosling will get another shot at directing in the immediate future.
Keeping all that in mind, the role in Beauty and the Beast wouldn’t require Gosling to commit to a potential franchise – unlike most of the studio film roles he’s been offered over the years – and given the people involved, he might be more open to appear in this Disney movie… assuming he has, in fact, been made an offer. If nothing else, it should be interesting to find out how The Beast is being brought to life in this feature; be it by practical makeup and costume (a la Angelina Jolie as Maleficent) or via motion-capture performance.
Watson has indicated that the live-action Beauty and the Beast will not stray far from the story in the Mouse House’s 1991 animated rendition, and include song and dance numbers (unlike other recent Disney live-action fairy tale re-tellings). Condon, as it were, is quite well-versed in musical genre fare, as he also wrote Chicago, co-wrote/directed Dreamgirls, and co-penned the Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman on Earth (arriving in 2016).
That bodes well for Beauty and the Beast – and who knows, it could very well be fun to watch someone like Gosling do his best to carry a tune (assuming he’s not another Gerard Butler, anyway).
Beauty and the Beast is expected to begin production this year; we’ll let you know when it gets an official release date.