– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Image via Walt Disney Animation

Image via Walt Disney Animation

It’s been a long time coming, but yesterday, fans got an in-depth look of the visuals of the upcoming live-action interpretation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This has been a hotly-anticipated film for two reasons. 

First is the fact that — with the exception of the Alice movies — Disney has been doing a great job with their live-action adaptations of their animated classics. Given their track record, it’s not unreasonable for fans to assume they’d continue their hot streak on the film that’s arguably their strongest animated film to date. Second, the casting of Emma Watson was a particularly celebrated decision by fans. While Watson doesn’t physically resemble her animated counterpart, the fact that she’d already played the bookish Hermione in the Harry Potter films gave fans the confidence that she’d be able to play another smart gal in Beauty and the Beast. This was re-enforced by those aformentioned images that were released.

For those looking for more of the same, the images look great, but it admittedly stirs up a bit of concern from me. What’s the point of making it live-action if it’s just going to straight-up mimic the source material? But just because the series of images we’ve seen already seem to imply they’re staying super faithful for this adaptation, that’s not to say it’ll be exactly the same on every level. In fact, speaking with EW, Watson revealed one of the main differences between her Belle and the Belle in the animated original:

“In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle. I was like, ‘Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn’t fit in, other than she liked books. Also what is she doing with her time?’ So, we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor.”

This seems like a great embellishment on the character. Being a bookworm isn’t necessarily weird in and of itself, but to give her the added eccentricities of an inventor could really highlight how much of a black sheep she is in town. Of course, this isn’t the only change regarding the character. She’s also a bit of a sheltered flower, says the set decorator, Katie Spencer:

“Kevin Kline as Maurice, is making all these music boxes that have to tell the story of Belle not traveling. She’s overprotected in a way, by her father, because she’s lost her mother. So, we’ve made all these music boxes that represent different countries of the world, so she can see what she’s missing.”

It’ll be interesting to see what this means for the character. Will Belle be hungry to get out of town, or does she have to actually push herself outside her own comfort zone in order to leave and find her father? Regardless of which way they play it, it’s a cool internal struggle for her to overcome.

What do you think of these comments regarding Belle? Let us know your thoughts down below!

Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 17, 2017.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.