Linda Woolverton's thoughts on the new live-action trailer and an update on Maleficent 2.
The Beauty and the Beast hype is very real. On Monday, the first teaser trailer for the live-action remake starring Emma Watson was viewed a record-breaking 91.8 million times -- which just goes to show how much Disney's animated classic has stuck with fans over the years.
I recently got a chance to speak with Alice Through the Looking Glass screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who also wrote the original 1991 Beauty and the Beast movie. While she's not involved with the new remake, she said she was very excited to see the film drawing from her take on the story and characters. "It makes me really, really happy," she said, upon learning how many people watched the teaser in such a short amount of time. "It's fantastic. I'm really excited about what they're doing."
The screenwriter also offered an update on Maleficent 2, which is that she's currently in the middle of writing the script. "This very minute, it's blinking at my computer," she laughed. Of course, she couldn't offer story details, but she did say the sequel will focus on "the next step in the relationship between Maleficent and Aurora."
The Beauty and the Beast remake hits theaters March 17, 2017, followed by Maleficent 2 sometime after that.
Disney Scribe Linda Woolverton Offers #Maleficent2 Status Update - https://t.co/4TSVuzaGia #Maleficent pic.twitter.com/d4APzcFmyq— We Got This Covered (@wgtc_site) May 30, 2016
In light of the magical, record-breaking reveal, Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast is the talk of the town at Disney, after the first trailer stormed past 90 million views in only 24 hours.
Pegged to dance into theaters in early 2017, Condon’s modern reimagining is part of a grand vision at the House of Mouse to reintroduce its prized catalog of fairytale adventures, replete with live-action sequences and bleeding-edge CGI. In 2016, we’ve already seen The Jungle Book and, more recently, James Bobin’s fantasy prequel Alice Through the Looking Glass maintain that momentum, which will eventually lead to Angelina Jolie’s return in Maleficent 2.
Beyond a confirmation that it exists, there’s not much to report regarding the nascent sequel. But while doing the rounds for Alice Through the Looking Glass, esteemed Disney scribe Linda Woolverton offered a brief status report on the film, revealing that at “this very minute, it’s blinking at my computer.” Woolverton remained mum on story details, but did go on to tease that Maleficent 2 represents “the next step in the relationship between Maleficent and Aurora.”
In the grand scheme of things, and now that Disney has staked out a number of release dates through 2019 (namely July 28, 2017, April 6, 2018, Aug. 3, 2018, Dec. 25, 2018 and Dec. 20, 2019), we fully expect Jolie to make her return as the gleefully dark fairy at some point before 2019.
As for Beauty and the Beast, Woolverton went on to heap praise on the film’s reveal trailer, before pointing to the complex relationship between Belle (Emma Watson) and the Beast (Dan Stevens).
“It makes me really, really happy,” she said, upon learning how many people watched the teaser in such a short amount of time. “It’s fantastic. I’m really excited about what they’re doing.”Beauty and the Beast has been penciled in for a release on March 17, 2017. As for Maleficent 2, Disney is yet to unveil its release plans for the fantasy sequel, but it’s expected to occupy one of those aforementioned dates.
“There’s been a lot of talk about Stockholm syndrome, that [Belle] fell in love with her captor,” she said. “But I disagree! She was captured, but she transformed him. She didn’t become, you know, an object. [Laughs] She didn’t turn into a beast! She transformed him. So it was certainly the transformative power of love and what it can do.”