Among the many ways Disney’s upcoming live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast is attempting to honor its beloved animated predecessor, none stand out more so than the appointment of original composer and Disney legend Alan Menken to contribute his work to the film. Menken recently sat down with EW for an exclusive interview and he had nothing but admiration for a key member of the new film’s crew, Harry Potter alum Emma Watson as Belle.
“She’s really good! I can’t picture anyone else, honestly. She’s Belle for me now entirely.”
And Menken didn’t stop there, enthusiastically praising other key cast members as well such as Dan Stevens (The Guest, Downton Abbey) as the titular Beast.
“Of course, he spends a lot of the movie with a lot of fur covering him but he’s great.”
Not to mention his thoughts on Luke Evans (The Hobbit, Dracula Untold) as the villainous Gaston.
“Fantastic – what a revelation! The cast is just a dream cast, it’s ridiculous.”
High praise indeed coming from anyone, but someone as imbedded in the story as Menken is something special indeed. Even more exciting are Menken’s thoughts on his own work for the picture.
“It’s exciting for me because I’m writing the new songs and scoring the new movie, it’s a lot of work,” he laughed. “It’s interesting and it’s challenging to come back to the same source material three times. And in this case I’m really taking my lead – I am bearer of the flame to a degree, but I want to be as good a team member with Bill Condon as I can be. So I’m really taking my lead from him as a director, and he’s doing a great job.”
A quick look at the cast’s chemistry can be seen here in a teaser for a special look at the film set to debut on Tuesday as well as on the upcoming Signature Edition Blu-ray release of the animated classic.
Directed by Bill Condon, Beauty and the Beast is a live-action reimagining of the story following all of the classic characters audiences around the world have come to know and love. Starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Kevin Kline as Belle’s father Maurice, Beauty and the Beast opens on March 17, 2017.