Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ now highest-grossing movie of all time in PH

MANILA, April 12, 2017 – The retelling of a classic fairytale has now rewritten the record books! Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” is now officially the biggest-grossing movie ever released in the Philippines.

The romantic, fantasy musical posted a cumulative gross of a jolting P667.46-M yesterday, its 27th day of release, and effectively overtaking Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” as the No.1 movie of all-time in the country.

This was announced today by a spokesman of Walt Disney Studios Philippines which distributed the film. (It’s worth noting that the top five films in the all-time rankings were all distributed by Disney. In third to fifth places are Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” and Marvel’s “The Avengers.”)

Disney owns Walt Disney Pictures, Disney-Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm (Star Wars films).

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is still playing in cinemas across the Philippines.

About Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Talking household objects are scene-stealers in ‘Beauty and the Beast’

A gentlemanly candelabra and a fastidious mantel clock. These are just two of the memorable characters in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, specifically, the enchanted household objects who can now speak as a result of the spell that transformed their master, a young Prince, into a Beast.

The household objects are the former members of the castle’s staff, including: Lumière (Ewan McGregor), a candelabra; Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), a mantel clock; Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson), a teapot; Madame de Garderobe (Audra McDonald), a wardrobe; Plumette (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a feather duster; and Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci), a harpsichord. Hopeful that Belle (Emma Watson) may finally be the one to capture the heart of the Beast (Dan Stevens), they watch and wait for any signs of true love that will break the curse.

Two-time Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge) is Lumière, the Prince’s proper French valet turned candelabra. Frequently at odds with Cogsworth and besotted with Plumette, it is Lumière who sings the show’s most extravagant musical number, “Be Our Guest.” The actor was unfamiliar with the song when he first arrived on set, but quickly became a fan, delivering a performance that would have made Maurice Chevalier proud.

“Ewan brings a bit of that ‘Moulin Rouge’ kind of joy to this character,” says director Bill Condon, “And there’s something so infectious about the way he sings, and sells, the song.”

It had been decided early on in the writing process to expand the story’s prologue and add a new character, a maestro who, along with his diva, is performing for the Prince at his castle when the spell is cast. Academy Award® nominee Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games) was cast as Maestro Cadenza, now a harpsichord, and Cadenza’s wife, the renowned Italian opera diva Madame de Garderobe, is played by six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald (Ricki and the Flash). The curse transforms her into an enormous wardrobe in Belle’s bedroom at the Beast’s castle, the same room where she had previously stayed herself, when she was the visiting opera singer. Garderobe has a flare for melodrama and a proclivity for frequent naps.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Miss Sloane) is Plumette, the cheeky maid turned elegant feather duster. “Lucy Bevan, our casting director, suggested Gugu to us,” says producer David Hoberman, “And while she may be one of the most beautiful women in the world, she also has a fantastic voice. She is the perfect Plumette.”

Making his musical theatre debut at the age of 76 is two-time Oscar®-nominated actor Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the tightly-wound head butler who is transformed into a mantel clock. While best known to younger audiences for his roles in The Lords of the Rings trilogy (Gandalf) and the X-Men films (Magneto), he is also a classically-trained actor with a wealth of Shakespearean credits under his belt.

It was Condon, having worked with him in the past on films including “Gods and Monsters” and “Mr. Holmes,” who reached out to his friend to offer him the role, and McKellen was all too eager to come on board. “When a script comes to you in the mail and you see that it is from Bill, you say, ‘Yes,’ even before you’ve read it,” laughs McKellen.

He continues, “Bill is the ideal choice for a story like this. He loves musical theatre and he likes the spectacle and energy of a big production that has music and dancing, and this is musical cinema. But at the same time, he recognizes the delicacies of human behavior.”

Two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Howard’s End) joined the cast as Mrs. Potts, the Cockney housekeeper who becomes a teapot and takes Belle under her wing, and the actress has nothing but praise for her director. “Bill is so wise and funny and kind and tender,” she says, “And he’s assembled the best group of people because he is one of the best. You just know that this film is going to be witty without being too sentimental and is going to have pace and verve and vigor and life and is going to mean something, because that’s just who he is.”

The filmmakers reasoned that if anyone could take on the legacy of a character created by Angela Lansbury, it was Thompson, as she has a similar warmth, history and connection to an audience. Coincidentally, Thompson arrived on the set of Beauty and the Beast straight from a sold-out run of Sweeney Todd in London, in which she played Mrs. Lovett, a role Lansbury originated on Broadway.

Newcomer Nathan Mack plays Mrs. Potts’ son, Chip, who is now a teacup, and Hattie Morahan (Alice Through the Looking Glass) is the enchantress who places the spell on the Beast and his castle at the beginning of the story.

Still showing across the Philippines, Beauty and the Beast is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines. #BeOurGuestPH

‘Beauty and the Beast’ makes P541.67-M in 11 days, now PH’s 6th highest-grossing film

MANILA, March 27, 2017 – Disney’s live-action fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast” dazzled again at No.1 on its second weekend at the box-office, grossing with a massive P541.67-M in just 11 days. This figure puts it at sixth place in the rankings of all-time highest-grossing movies in the Philippine industry. This was announced today by a spokesman of Walt Disney Studios Philippines.

With interest and theater attendance for the film still at a high point, “Beauty and the Beast” is poised to surpass more records in the days to come.

“Beauty and the Beast” is now playing in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D cinemas across the Philippines.

About Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within.

The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ opening weekend rakes US$14.9-M in SE Asia

Singapore, 20th March 2017 – Disney’s Beauty and the Beast charms its way to the hearts of audiences in Southeast Asia, taking in a remarkable cumulative box office of USD$14.9million across the region on its’ opening weekend. The live-action adaptation of the beloved classic tale opened to the number one position at the box office charts globally.

In the Philippines, the film opened in cinemas on 16th March, and lands itself as the biggest opening weekend of 2017, garnering a cumulative box office of USD$6.3million locally.

Internationally, the film has secured its’ position as one of the top 10 openings of all time, achieving USD$350 million at the global box office till date. Starring Emma Watson as Belle, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is poised to continue its stellar performance at the box office.

READ MORE: Here’s our review of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

About Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ posts year’s biggest 1st day gross with P47.2-M

MANILA, March 17, 2017 – Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” put a spell at the Philippine box-office, grossing an enchanted P47.2-M on its first day, March 16, and effectively breaking the record for the industry’s biggest opening day for 2017. This was announced today by a spokesman of the Walt Disney Studios Philippines.

“Beauty and the Beast” is expected to dominate the coming weekend, as ticket sales are being driven by nostalgia for the original 1991 Disney animated classic, and the recent popularity of live-action fairy tales.

The top five performing cinemas for “Beauty and the Beast” are SM North EDSA (P1.97-M), SM Megamall (P1.92-M), SM Mall of Asia (P1.70-M), Robinsons Magnolia (P1.14-M) and Trinoma (P1.13-M).

Rounding out the top ten are Glorietta (P924,983), Ayala Cebu (P887,006), SM Iloilo (P810,629), Greenbelt (P 784,796) and SM Cebu (P756,706).

Making it in the top twenty are SM Lanang (P752,254), Power Plant (P698,056), Alabang Town Center (P654,840), SM Bacolod (P602,910), SM Seaside (P602,202), UP Town Center (P597,165), SM Clark (P 593,540), Shang Cineplex (P587,780), Robinsons Galleria (P586,096) and Gateway Cineplex (P582,283).

About BEAUTY AND THE BEAST:

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast, including: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Hattie Morahan and Nathan Mack with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

Directed by Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast, the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. The film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers.

Beauty and the Beast is now playing in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D cinemas across the Philippines. #BeOurGuestPH

Meet the beloved characters of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

As Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast has bowed on the big screen, here are the official descriptions of the beloved fairy tale’s characters.

And when searching for talent to bring the beloved animated characters to life on screen, the filmmakers canvassed the worlds of film, television, music and theatre to find the performers best suited for each role.

BELLE (Emma Watson) is a bright and spirited young woman who dreams of adventure, romance and a world far beyond the confines of her French village. Fiercely independent and keeping to herself for the most part, Belle wants nothing to do with the town’s arrogant and boorish rogue Gaston, who relentlessly pursues her. When her father is imprisoned in the castle of a hideous Beast, Belle trades her own freedom for his and quickly befriends the former staff who have become household objects as result of a curse placed on the castle. The Beast, while surly and ill-mannered, can be generous and chivalrous and knows how to make her laugh, and Belle soon begins to sense the kind heart of the Prince within.

THE BEAST (Dan Stevens). Once a dashing young Prince who had grown to become cruel and self-absorbed before being transformed by an enchantress into a hideous Beast, he is trapped in the castle until he can learn to love another and be worthy of their love in return, thus breaking the curse. When the Beast catches Maurice trespassing and takes him prisoner, his beautiful and headstrong daughter Belle takes his place, and the Beast develops feelings for her, slowly beginning to come back to life.

GASTON (Luke Evans) is the arrogant and shallow villager intent on marrying Belle. A former War hero, he holds court in the village tavern and has every eligible woman in town wrapped around his finger. Smitten with Belle, who is strong-willed and impervious to his charms, Gaston becomes consumed by rejection and jealousy and leads a mob of villagers to the Beast’s castle to rescue Belle and kill the Beast.

LEFOU (Josh Gad), Gaston’s sidekick, is not the brightest bulb in the box. He worships Gaston, who has no regard for him whatsoever and makes him the brunt of his jokes, but soon comes to realize that beneath Gaston’s handsome exterior lays a heart that is much darker.

MAURICE (Kevin Kline), Belle’s father, is a reclusive artist who specializes in beautiful one-of-a-kind music boxes, which to Belle represent the world beyond the confines of Villeneuve but to Maurice are a way to protect his daughter while preserving perfect memories from his past. When Maurice stumbles upon the Beast’s castle and is taken prisoner, Belle comes to plead for his release, eventually trading her freedom for his. Now it is up to him to convince the villagers of Belle’s imprisonment and to find a way to set her free.

LUMIÈRE (Ewan McGregor) is the Prince’s proper French valet who becomes a gilded candelabra as a result of the spell. While frequently at odds with Cogsworth, the mantel clock and besotted with Plumette, the feather duster, Lumière is charming and sophisticated, and can turn an ordinary meal into a musical extravaganza.

COGSWORTH (Ian McKellen). The castle’s fastidious and tightly-wound head butler who is transformed into a mantel clock by the curse of an enchantress, Cogsworth detests any kind of disruption, preferring things to run like clockwork.

PLUMETTE (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is the castle’s former maid turned cheeky, yet graceful, feather duster who has captured the heart of the candelabra, Lumière.

MRS. POTTS (Emma Thompson) and CHIP (Nathan Mack). The castle’s former housekeeper, Mrs. Potts, is now a teapot with her Cockney brogue still in place. Her son Chip, who has been transformed into a teacup, is trapped in the castle with her and the other castle staff. It is Mrs. Potts who takes Belle under her wing and who convinces the Beast to try and woo their new houseguest, hoping that she may be the one to capture the heart of the Beast.

MADAME DE GARDEROBE (Audra McDonald) is the renowned Italian opera diva performing for the Prince when the spell is cast, becoming an enormous wardrobe. She resides in Belle’s room at the castle, and in addition to dressing Belle, has a flare for the dramatic and a proclivity for frequent naps.

MAESTRO CADENZA (Stanley Tucci). Now a harpsichord (with a considerable number of broken keys) following the curse of an enchantress, Maestro Cadenza is husband to – and accompanist of – the celebrated opera diva Madame de Garderobe, who, along with his wife and their dog, Froufrou, are trapped in the castle awaiting the lifting of the curse.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, March 16, Beauty and the Beast is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.

MOVIE REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast is far from perfection but still proves to hit the right spot in our hearts, the same way the animated feature did way back in 1991.

Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast had huge shoes to fill as it’ll be marking a pinnacle in bringing the beloved animated Disney film faithfully to life as live-action on screen after so many years of loose adaptation releases.

Let me begin by saying that the production had the biggest efforts in respecting the craft by staying true to the original material, almost verbatim, in transforming it to reality, whilst adding flavor by introducing a couple more music to an already-gorgeous lineup of classic songs. The film dazzles with colourful characters, extravagant musical sequences as Condon doesn’t hold back in bringing bold textures and hues of a classic musical production, very reminiscent to Baz Luhrmann’s elaborate style of magic realism on film.

There has been a revamp to the depiction of several characters, most notably to Belle, played by the commendable efforts of Emma Watson. Perhaps, for the first time, a Disney princess is human (and a feminist, if I may add) – the layers of reality that Watson brought to Belle completely eradicated the wide-eyed damsel-in-distress impression of a princess archetype. Belle is portrayed as a real woman: assertive, less romanticized, more organic, and overall ambitious whose destiny doesn’t rely on quintessential prince charming prototypes. This characterization is a rather bold move from screenwriters Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopolous in showing a three-dimensional Disney leading lady by eliminating the nuances of a dated impression of the feminine persona.

Another revamp is to that of LaFou, whose homosexual undertones are finally embraced, which completely gave sense to what used to be an illogical fixation and fascination towards Gaston as what has been portrayed in the animated version. It goes to show that the film has supported the characters’ intellect by giving rationale to their decision making. It is a very brave move from Disney by finally adding an LGBT character (two of them, actually) to a classic child-friendly film. This revamp shows that Beauty and the Beast, or probably Disney in general, is finally speaking to a new era.

Despite the film’s greatest intentions, inevitably, it suffers from a fair share of casualties here and there. Being an iconic musical, it is just expected that the singing part will be, a no-brainer, above par. However, we have to admit: Watson’s vocal ability wasn’t the best, which didn’t come as a surprise, prematurely conceived from the film’s early marketing and promotional clips. Ultimately, there’s a strange and awkward atmosphere one just cannot ignore that a random laundry woman in the neighbourhood, or a nameless old fish vendor, can sing stronger and has more solid vocal register than the leading lady herself. Vocally, the neighbourhood chorus completely swallows Watson, especially in the opening number, which is crucial, as it sets the mood and expectations of the film. It’s the white elephant in the movie. It all seems like a big ball of ‘showbiz’ agenda that Watson’s casting primarily falls down on how divine she looks in that iconic yellow ball gown, as if a living replica of the animated version – no more, no less. If this wasn’t a musical, Watson would fit perfectly like a glove; but at the end of the day, one of the primary reasons why a musical’s narrative continues to move fluidly is the vocal strength of the cast, especially the lead, and autotune can only get her so far.

The cast and the music felt overly congested. Stanley Tucci’s casting was completely unnecessary, as if merely dragging a big name to pile up an A-list ensemble; again, too much showbiz stunt agenda that is overwhelming to the film’s overall essence. His character has nothing to do with the film’s narrative other than a filler, and he could be taken out easily for a cleaner and much more concise plot. There are a couple of songs that felt better if they were released in an extended DVD version; Beast’s solo act felt redundant, as it was anti-climactic to the film’s pacing.

Speaking of pacing, the build-up of the characters, particularly to that of Belle and Beast, is rather perfunctory, especially in the second act. Their transition from master-prisoner to lovebirds is very, very abrupt, it’s just so hard to buy, which consequently contradicts Belle’s newly overhauled persona as a less idealized, more grounded woman. How the ‘courtship’ was portrayed was too by-the-book from the original source; it felt too forced, and ultimately seems inconsistent from their premise of modernizing the definition of love and relationship. It didn’t have enough establishing moments to justify a love that felt and seem so impossible (bestiality, anyone?), whereas it was the best opportunity to humanize a fairytale, since that has always been the apparent objective of this live action adaptation.

Moreover, the rest of the cast was just stunning. From the impeccable chemistry between Lumiere and Cogsworth, played by Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen respectively, to the hilarious Emma Thompson, whose golden nightingale voice is a revelation on-screen, to the heartwarming performance of Kevin Kline as Maurice – you can never go wrong with seasoned actors playing classic and iconic roles.

The best part of the film, to my surprise, is Luke Evans as Gaston. I have always been skeptical about him as I find his voice too high and raspy for an uber masculine brute. Evans added so much flavor and pizzazz to the character, he stole every scene he’s in, and at the moments he’s not on screen, you’d find yourself longing for his presence. He’s gritty but vain; extremely annoying but very lovable; he has sold the character so well, you’d easily want a spin-off for his own movie.

Overall, Beauty and the Beast turns out to be exactly what you think it would be – strengths and weaknesses combined; thus, it won’t disappoint. Ultimately, the premise of the film has been lived up, though far from perfection, it still hits the right spot in our hearts. This film is a beautiful nostalgia, and you will find yourself in goosebumps witnessing how the animated film from 1991 has finally unraveled to life.


3.5 out of 5 stars


Now showing across the Philippines in 2D, 3D, IMAX and 4D screens, Beauty and the Beast is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines.

Luke Evans swaggers as Gaston in live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Welsh actor Luke Evans (The Girl on the Train, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) smashes his way to playing Gaston, the shallow and arrogant villager intent on marrying Belle (Emma Watson) in Disney’s live-action fantasy adventure, Beauty and the Beast.

A former War hero, Gaston holds court in the village tavern and has every eligible woman in town wrapped around his finger. Smitten with Belle, who is strong-willed and impervious to his charms, Gaston becomes consumed by rejection and jealousy and leads a mob of villagers to the Beast’s castle to rescue Belle and kill the Beast.

For the role of the egotistical village heartthrob, the filmmakers were concerned the part would be difficult to cast. With a popular character like that from the 1991 animated film, it was important he transitions into a human character the audience would find believable in a real-world environment. The screenwriters bestowed Gaston with some new characteristics to make him appear more contemporary and credible, fashioning him to be a war hero who saved the town from invaders and someone who is easily provoked. Director Bill Condon explains, “With a short temper, he can easily lose control when anyone or anything crosses him, which became an interesting way to take something that was cartoonish and turn it into something real.”

As a bonus, Luke Evans is even an accomplished vocalist, having starred in a number of West End stage productions, and Gaston has a substantial amount of singing in the film.

Luke Evans agrees, saying “I come from the world of musical theatre so I feel very passionate about telling a story with music and lyrics, and what these geniuses did back in 1991 was tell a story which was very, very old and make it appeal to everyone. It has left a lasting impression on many generations of filmgoers.”

“Here’s the thing about Luke Evans,” says Condon. “He has all the qualities that are right for Gaston but he has this other thing which comes from years of working on a stage and which is so important to have in a movie musical, and that’s the joy of performing. This is a role he was born to play.”

In discussing his character Evans says, “Gaston doesn’t see the world the way everyone else sees it. He’s at the top of the pyramid and everyone else is below him. He thinks he can do no wrong and does not understand why Belle does not want to be his wife. I mean, God, is she mad? Is she blind? Is she stupid? He doesn’t get it, which is funny in and of itself, so I really tried to play up the comedic aspects.”

About BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast, including: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Hattie Morahan and Nathan Mack with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

Directed by Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast, the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. The film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, March 16, 2017, Beauty and the Beast is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines. #BeOurGuestPH

Dan Stevens plays cursed prince in ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Attaining global stardom and acclaim for his performance as the dashing Matthew Crawley in the Golden Globe®-winning drama Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens now stars in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, opposite Emma Watson’s Belle.

The British thespian plays the Beast, a spoiled and arrogant Prince transformed by the curse of an enchantress.

Of particular importance to the filmmakers was determining the fine line between man and beast, as there are moments when rage overwhelms the character and makes him more beastly, yet there are other times when he is quite gentle.

“[Director] Bill Condon and I spent a lot of time talking about how we could add some nuances to my character to make him more dimensional than the Beast from the animated film,” says Stevens. “It was quite interesting, trying to find those little human beats that would make him less animalistic and more a human trapped inside this creature.”

Says Condon, “I’m a big fan of Dan’s…he’s got this amazing range. Taking this part on was taking on a lot more than just playing a role because of all the incredibly complicated technical things he had to face and the trust he had to place in everyone around him that all that work he did would shine through in the end. It takes a certain kind of character to be willing to do that.”

Stevens also had several profound discussions with Watson as to the mindset of their characters and the balance between good and evil and masculinity and femininity. He explains, “I was very keen on trying to calibrate the Beast according to the Belle that she wanted to be and to play, and we ultimately ended up realizing that this tale is not so much about beauty and ugliness but about the beauty and the beast that live in all of us and learning to live with that balance.”

“The role is an incredibly challenging one, as Dan has to bring the Beast to life even though he is represented on screen digitally,” adds producer David Hoberman. “The Beast is a fully-digital character created through performance and facial capture technology, and Dan is able to beautifully convey both the Beast’s humanity as well as his beastliness.”

To create a realistic looking Beast in a real-world environment while maintaining Dan Stevens’ performance, a combination of physical performance capture and MOVA facial capture technology was used. For the physical performance capture portions, scenes of the Beast with the live-action cast members were filmed on practical sets with Stevens wearing stilts and a prosthetics muscle suit with a gray bodysuit on top. Scenes of the Beast with the animated household staff were filmed with Stevens wearing a fractal gray bodysuit with visual effects indicators. And despite the restraining attire, the actor is able to convey a complex range of emotions, which was crucial, as the Beast is the romantic lead and the emotional center of the story.

Says Bill Condon, “Dan brings such warmth and nuance to the character and was able to evoke all of the pain and the humanity that was still there and give a powerful performance, which is told predominantly through his eyes and voice. It was really quite astonishing.”

About BEAUTY AND THE BEAST:

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast, including: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Hattie Morahan and Nathan Mack with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

Directed by Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast, the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, March 16, 2017, Beauty and the Beast is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines. 

Emma Watson captures heart as Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Known to global audiences as the spunky and smart wizard Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise, Emma Watson is now poised to be fondly remembered as Belle, the shrewd villager who yearns for adventure, in the live-action retelling of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

For over a decade, the British actress has charmed audiences playing the quick-witted and tenacious Hogwarts student in the Potter films and in films including The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah and The Bling Ring. In addition, she has a highly-visible role as a human rights activist and global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, something which has become her life’s calling.

Of all the female characters in all the Disney films, she has always been drawn to – and most identifies with – Belle.

“I have loved ‘Beauty and the Beast’ since I was four years old,” she says. “I remember Belle as this feisty young woman who spoke her mind and had these ambitions and was incredibly independent and wanted to see the world. And she had this relationship with the Beast where they were just toe to toe and that, to me, just seemed like such a terrific dynamic and interesting kind of relationship that I’d never seen before in a fairy tale.”

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Prior to 1991, most female characters in animated films were viewed as passive and somewhat one-dimensional, but Belle broke the mold. She is interested in literature, has thoughts of her own and is not easily intimidated, and quickly became an empowered role model for girls around the world and the first contemporary feminist heroine in an animated film. “Belle is someone who doesn’t really care about becoming a princess,” says director Bill Condon. “She’s more interested in seeing the world and figuring out who she is than in finding a man and getting married.”

Not only does Belle herself love reading, but she also loves sharing her passion for books. Says Condon, “We all know how intelligent and worldly and sophisticated Emma is, and while that doesn’t describe Belle, it is what Belle aspires to be, and it is the innate intelligence that Emma brings to the role that is such a crucial element when you’re doing a live-action film.”

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About BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast, including: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Hattie Morahan and Nathan Mack with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

Directed by Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast, the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. The film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, March 16, 2017, Beauty and the Beast is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines. #BeOurGuestPH