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'It was magical'; Beauty and the Beast director on filming the remake and solving the many questions posed in the original

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The year 2017, when the Beauty and the Beast remake will finally hit cinema screens, feels unbearably far away. 

Which is why we're always on the hunt for news on the live action (that's non animated) reboot of the 1991 classic, starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast.

Thankfully director Bill Condon took some time away from filming in "Belle’s poor provincial town" to give us fans an update on the film.

Speaking to VF.com, Condon said they've already filmed the iconic ballroom sequence and it sounds spectacular. "It was one of the first scenes we shot, and it was really magical. You will believe a beast can waltz."

Condon said when he first spoke to Disney about remaking Beauty and the Beast, the studio was uncertain it should make the film a musical. "I said, “With all due respect, I think you’re crazy. The songs are too good. You’re going to spend all this time making a huge, gorgeous live-action Beauty and the Beast and not do Be Our Guest?”
 

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Having worked on the Dreamgirls adaptation and Chicago screenplay, the director knows the secret to a great musical for the big screen. "I think I’ve been fortunate to be around during an interesting moment in the resurgence of the movie musical. I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules to the form, except that hopefully, the songs are good, and they move the story forward."

Thankfully, the musical score in Beauty and the Beast is nothing short of substance, be it the opening number Belle (Reprise) or Something There.

When asked if the cast - which also consists of Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Emma Thompson (Mrs Potts), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (Lefou) - were requested to sing certain songs during the auditions, he said, "Actually, I had them all sing Hakuna Matata, just to confuse them".

Beauty and the Beast

Condon assures fans he hasn't drastically altered the plot, but there are some new additions which help explain some loopholes in the original story, for example, why the small town knew nothing about a huge enchanted castle that's within its vicinity.

"There are so many people who love the original film and love the Broadway show, and they’ve had two decades now to pick them apart and point out big questions and plot holes, and in a lot of places we looked at those and said, 'Hey, that’s a good question,' or 'That’s an excellent point, why don’t these townspeople know anything about this huge castle that’s like a mile away from their village?,' and used those as jumping off points for our own discussions."

"So hopefully, this will be a film where a die-hard fan can jump up and say 'exactly!'" 

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The new Beauty and the Beast is out on 17 March 2017.

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