Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast was a box office success that many fans praised as a faithful adaptation of the animated classic (perhaps too faithful, depending on who you ask). However, one notable departure from the original film was the characterization of Le Fou, played by Josh Gad, who evolved from a silly side-kick who constantly endured abuse at the hands of Gaston to a more three-dimensional character for the remake. In an special feature for the films Blu-Ray release, director Bill Condon explained why Le Fou was changed for the live-action film and how his relationship with Gaston was developed.
Condon explained that the physical abuse Le Fou is subjected to in the animated film would not play well in a live-action film:
“He’s sort of a punching bag [in the animated film] and that just is not credible in live-action, to have Josh Gad getting punched every 10 seconds.”
Condon also revealed how the decision to omit the slapstick elements to Le Fou’s character lead to the creative teams new take on his relationship with Gaston:
“There’s a lot of crazy physical comedy that I don’t necessarily think translates to this version of the film. So it was about figuring out, how do we change things up, how do we make him more human? That came with a question of conscience for me. This idea of false worship. What does that look like? If a guy who he’s admired for all these years without questioning is doing things that he has to bring into question, I think that creates conflict and that creates for a more interesting, three-dimensionalized version of this character.”
Did you miss the slapstick comedy in the remake or was it a wise decision to omit the torture Le Fou endures from the live-action version? Share your thoughts below!
Directed by Bill Condon, the film stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Audra McDonald.
Beauty and the Beast will be available on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD on June 6, 2017