Will Beauty and the Beast do a Cinderella?

Emma WatsonNew cast announcements are arriving almost daily and a large team are currently deep in pre-production at Shepperton Studios for Disney's next big live action adaptation, Beauty and the Beast.

Multiple Tony award-winning actress Audra McDonald is the latest recruit to join the classy line-up; Emma Watson's Belle and Dan Stevens' Beast are surrounded by some muscular acting talent including Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, Kevin Kline and Josh Gad.

The film is directed by Bill Condon - who last year finished Mr Holmes starring Ian McKellen - from a screenplay by Evan Spiliotopoulos and Stephen Chbosky.

The live action version is based on the hit animation from 1991 (there had been two less successful attempts in the 1930s and 1950s) and the Mouse House must be hoping that this latest version will emulate their sumptuous new Cinderella which has just surpassed $300m in global box office.

The public's appetite for big-budget, live action remakes of Disney animations has intensified in recent years with features such as Through the Looking Glass; Alice in Wonderland and the Sleeping Beauty-based Maleficent.

There is certainly no shortage of source material, with projects like Tim Burton's Dumbo already in the pipeline. And the potential for spin-offs is plain to see, with the latest, the Snow White-derived The Huntsman shooting in the UK this next month.

For more on Beauty and the Beast, including details of the production co-ordinator and production deisgner, head over to Production Intelligence, where you will also find details on most of the features listed above. 

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