Beauty and the Beast: Hear Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as Belle and the Beast for the first time

The lead actors are seen at their first table read for the Disney live-action reboot

Jess Denham
Friday 02 September 2016 09:52
Beauty And The Beast - sneak peek

There might still be six months to go until the live action reimagining of Beauty and the Beast hits cinemas, but a new clip has given fans a hint at what they can expect from Emma Watson as Belle.

The brief behind-the-scenes video sees the actress taking part in her first table read as the popular Disney princess, alongside former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens as the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast arrives in the UK on 17 March next year and is expected to top the box office in the wake of a string of Disney live action successes from Cinderella to The Jungle Book.

The first look at Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen as the Beast’s trusty sidekicks Lumiere and Cogsworth was revealed last week (thankfully not just the actors in elaborate candelabra and clock costumes), with Emma Thompson and Luke Evans also starring as the motherly Mrs Potts and arrogant Gaston respectively.

The Twilight Saga’s Bill Condon is directing from a screenplay by The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s Stephen Chbosky. “I was so excited to hear that Disney was thinking about doing a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast,” Condon says in the clip. “When something is so perfect, why get near it? The answer is technology has caught up to the ideas that were introduced in that movie.”

The CGI, cinematography and costumes are set to be stunningly sumptuous judging by that first glimpse of glittering chandeliers, while the dazzling “Be Our Guest” scene and Watson’s beautiful Belle dresses are sure to be highlights. Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken will be re-recording songs from the original 1991 animated film along with fresh material from himself and Tim Rice.

“I loved that Belle was this feisty heroine whose whole life wasn’t about marrying the most handsome guy in the village,” Watson told The Independent earlier this year. “Belle wants to read, she wants to go on adventures and be her own woman, her own person. She was one of my first tastes of feminism, so it’s pretty cool to play her now.”

The 25th-anniversary edition of the original movie will be released on 6 September, featuring a full bonus feature on the making of the reboot.

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