Some interesting news for fans of the House of Mouse comes from two cinematic properties, both of which are adaptations of some of their beloved animated classics.
First up is the in-development live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, and Luke Evans. Variety reported today that Disney has assigned a release date for the film, and has given it a St. Patrick’s Day 2017 release date, March 17th. This is the first film to be assigned this release date for 2017, with other movies being released that month including the as-yet untitled Wolverine 3 from 20th Century Fox on March 3rd, Kong: Skull Island starring Tom Hiddleston and J.K. Simmons for March 10th, and The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 2 on March 24th.
Also on the Beauty and the Beast front, TIME is reporting that English actress Emma Thompson — previously having appeared in the Disney film Saving Mr. Banks as Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers — and American actor Kevin Kline, have both joined the cast of the forthcoming film. Thompson will play Mrs. Potts, a teapot from Beast’s house that was the mother of the young cup Chip, and who was originally voiced by Angela Lansbury in the animated feature from 1991. Kline, on the other hand, will play Maurice, Belle’s inventor father. Both of these additions should prove very solid for the final film, as both performers have abundant theatre experience which should prove valuable for the musical elements.
Meanwhile, Variety has also reported that the initial estimates for the opening weekend for Cinderella have been disproven now that the final box office numbers have been tallied. While it was originally stated that the film took in just over $70 million this past weekend, that figure has been revised downward slightly to the figure of $67.9 million. Ultimately, it’s a negligible difference, as the film was still the clear champion at the box office, far and away ahead of the weekend’s number two film, Liam Neeson’s Run All Night, which came in with a final weekend figure of just over $11 million.
Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh (Thor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) looks to have a healthy theatrical run in front of it, in addition to helping audiences prepare for future live-action adaptations of its animated films, like Beauty and the Beast in 2017. For more on these films as they develop, keep an eye on GeekNation!
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