It’s a tale as old as time: A revisionist fairy tale blows up at the box office (this time, it’s Oz the Great and Powerful, which made over $80 million this past weekend), and suddenly all the studios want in on creating the next big live-action “fairy tale.” (In this case, “fairy tale” means any popular children’s story).
Disney is looking to develop Beauty and the Beast into a live-action film, possibly to be written by Joe Ahearne (Trance), according to a Deadline report. The studio’s 1991 animated movie is a beloved classic, and was the first animated movie nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. There was also a successful Broadway musical version that ran for years. A modern-day high school take, Beastly, recently happened as well, but the less said about that the better.
This isn’t the only belle trying to get to the box-office ball. There have been rumors for quite some time that Guillermo Del Toro is working on a revisionist take with Emma Watson to star as Belle. (She is also rumored to be in the running to play Cinderella, opposite Cate Blanchett’s wicked stepmother in a live-action update of that classic fairy tale). This is in addition to a ton of other fairy tales currently in development or production, including Angelina Jolie’s Sleeping Beauty update Maleficent, which is slated for a July 2014 release.
Besides Belle, Cinderella and Aurora, check out some of our other hopes for fairy tales looking for an updated live-action spin. To be honest, there simply aren’t that many classic tales left.
- Rumpelstiltskin: This tale is begging for a creepy retelling. Rumpelstiltskin is having a pop-culture moment, thanks to his role on Once Upon A Time, so the timing is perfect for the tale of the imp who helps a desperate young woman trapped in a tower. The tale would obviously need to be fleshed out, but a story from his point of view could certainly attract both kids and adults.
- Mulan: The Disney cartoon isn’t a fairy-tale in the same way the Brothers Grimm stories are, but in the post-Katniss world, Disney’s most independent heroine could be a great live-action transfer. All-dude number “I’ll Make a Man Out Of You” with a chorus of non-animated guys? Yes, please.
- Rapunzel: Animated movies Tangled and Shrek the Third told a version of her story, but a revisionist take about the girl trapped in a tower seems to be the only princess left that hasn’t gotten some kind of reboot. Surely there’s someone out there that can weave a tale of heartbreak and romance (Note to James Marsden: Prince Charming once again has your name on it!). Fun fact: There was a live-action version of this that aired on TV in 1983. Jeff Bridges played the prince!
If those don’t work out, Hollywood could always kill multiple revisionist birds with one stone and just get the musical Into The Woods onscreen already.