Saturday, February 11, 2012

Christophe Gans Taking "Beauty" to Big Screen

Guzel ve Cirkin (Beauty and The Beast)
It's not a remake of Jean Cocteau's La Belle et La Bete. Instead it is supposed to both visually stunning and darker than any of the (better known) Beauty & the Beast films to date. It's also aimed at families so considering it's easy to "get dark" with early versions of Beauty & the Beast, I'm curious to see how dark "dark" is, while still being kid-friendly. Imagine Disney's Beauty & the Beast as a live action film: if all those scenes had played straight (the first Beast appearance, the wood, the wolves, the prison, the Beat's tantrums, the mob, the hunt etc) - minus singing and dancing - it wouldn't have been half as kid-friendly as it is.

Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux are already confirmed to star.
The film is simply titled Beauty and shooting is scheduled to begin early October, 2012. It will also be a French language film, which is very appropriate on a number of levels and makes me far more interested in the film than I would have been otherwise.

Gans is best known for directing the movies ‘Silent Hill’ and ‘Brotherhood of the Wolf.’ He not only will direct this version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ but also wrote the screen adaptation that aims to “unleash” his imagination.  Gans recently told Variety that his ‘Beauty’ is based on one of the earliest versions of the tale and will be aimed at both adults and kids. “It talks, among other things, about the power of dreams and love versus materialism and corruption, which makes it more than ever relevant today.”
“Although I will keep to a form of storytelling of this timeless fairy tale that is in keeping with the same pace and characters as the original,” he explains, “I will surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe never experienced before and produce images of an unparalleled quality. Every single one of my movies has presented me with a challenge,” he continued, “but this one is, by far, the most exciting and rewarding.”
Beauty and the Beast by Tyler James
 Are you torn between being happy and shaking your head at the double/triple-ups of fairy tale retellings coming to the big screen? (Let alone the multiple variations appearing on the smaller screen?) You may enjoy AVClub's announcement of the film HERE (I certainly did), which also mentions a (possible) Guillermo del Toro B&tB movie project, currently in development with Emma Watson (he's got on LOT on his development plate at the moment!).

I have yet to see a film (including Cocteau's which I love) in which I didn't echo Greta Garbo's cry of "Give me back my beast!" That, to me, would be the ultimate challenge in making a Beauty & the Beast film unique. Yes, please do make it beautiful, layered, suspenseful. Make it classic yet relevant and make it meaningful but above all, make the transformation from beast to human work. Otherwise I don't really see the point.

Note: The illustrations have nothing to do with the film project. I just thought they were unique and lovely Beauty & the Beast illustrations. The illustration at the head of the post is by artist, Ertac Altinoz. He's from Turkey and has one of those mind-blowing talents you occasionally come across. You can find his deviantArt gallery HERE and another on CGHub HERE. There are multiple pages showcasing his work also at Gods of Art HERE.

The second image is by another talented CG artist, Tyler James (known as ArtofTy on deviantArt) who has a lovely gallery HERE. You can see more of his amazing work at his also-amazing blog, HERE.

Article sources: HERE, HERE & HERE

1 comment:

  1. I will say I'm torn between getting annoyed with everyone jumping on the bandwagon on fairytales and yet loving it at the same time because I love fairytales and it's nice to have more movies, books and tv series out there, I just wish people would branch out more and be a little more original about it, trying for something exciting and deep rather than clearly just doing it for money.

    I realise I'm generalising but I guess what I mean is I'm looking for another In the Company of Wolves or someone like Tanith Lee to write some dark fairytale twists rather than the play it safe, stereotype, unoriginal Little Red Riding Hood with Amanda Seyfried.

    In saying that I love Brotherhood of the Wolf, it was certainly different and dark, so I have high hopes for this Beauty and the Beast film, and I love Vincent Cassel.