Bill Condon Directing Live-Action 'Beauty and the Beast'

Bill Condon

Squeezing more money out of established properties is a tale as old as time, and one that Disney is eager to add another chapter to following the healthy grosses that greeted last weekend's revisionist take on the Sleeping Beauty story, Maleficent. To that end, the studio is pursuing a live-action version of Beauty of the Beast, and they've reportedly just hired Twilight vet Bill Condon to direct it.

Evan Spiliotopoulos is working on the screenplay for the project, which will presumably offer a fresh take on the fable that Disney previously turned into box office gold with its 1991 animated musical version. Given that the '91 smash was later reissued in 3D, this will be the studio's third attempt to woo filmgoers away from their discretionary income with the story, but there's no reason to think it won't work: Beauty and the Beast has proven an eminently adaptable tale, and one that continues to lure viewers regardless of the format (or how many times it's already been told).

The news, reported by Variety, didn't offer a timetable for Beauty's release, but Disney's already working on a live-action Cinderella that's due in 2015 and a live-action Jungle Book currently in development with director Jon Favreau, so this will presumably be third on the depth chart.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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