Beauty and the Beast, a live action remake of the Disney animated classic, has soared to become the most watched teaser in a 24-hour period, and many are attributing this honor to Emma Watson and the star power this actress carries with her. Casting the Harry Potter actress as Belle in this live action remake may have been Disney's wisest casting move because Emma is one of those actresses capable of crossing genre boundaries and attracting the adoration of millions by her mere presence. If the Beauty and the Beast trailer is any indication, all eyes will be on Watson when Beauty and the Beast does finally debut in theaters.
Emma Watson Shines In A New Beauty And The Beast TrailerAfter just 24 hours online, the Beauty and the Beast trailer has outshined the previously most-watched trailers, including the second trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, which garnered a total of 88 million views during its own first 24 hours online. The Emma Watson fueled trailer for Beauty and the Beast has been seen 91.8 million times. Beauty and the Beast has also beaten Captain America: Civil War (61 million views), The Force Awakens' first trailer (55 million views) and, Avengers: Age of Ultron (34 million views). As it happens, all of the mentioned films were Disney productions.
Emma Watson makes a limited appearance in the Beauty and the Beast trailer, yet the mere sound of her voice and the clandestine appearance of her face towards the end of the Disney teaser has been enough to attract Watson's millions of fans and followers. Emma's Facebook page is liked by 33.1 million users, while Watson's Twitter account boasts 21.8 million followers, so it's easy to see where a good portion of Beauty and the Beast's 91.8 million views came from, and even Disney acknowledges that Watson's sharing of the teaser has done more for Beauty and the Beast than their own advertising campaigns.In itself, the Beauty and the Beast trailer tells a much more involved story than it may at first appear, beginning with the desolate, dark, and seemingly abandoned palace. Amid this wasteland, the camera falls upon a vibrant rose, bringing warmth to the frigid castle, but only so long as it's able to maintain healthy petals. This is The Enchanted Rose, the flower used to cast a curse upon the prince, who now lives life as a beast and compels Belle (Watson) to live with him in order to save her own father's life. Emma's character soon learns of the curse and that it came about because the beast spurned the affections of a woman villager, based solely on her appearance. From there, Belle learns that unless the beast finds true love by his 21st birthday, the day on which The Enchanted Rose loses its last petal, the prince will forever remain the beast.
Emma Watson Associated With The Panama PapersWhile her fans are eager for more of Watson as Beauty and the Beast's Belle, Emma's real life is far from the perfect existence seen in Disney fairy tales. Ms. Watson is among the many wealthy celebrities named in the Panama Papers. Last month, a Panama law firm leaked documents to a consortium of journalists and those documents revealed the identities of the rich, famous, and powerful persons who hide their wealth in offshore tax havens. The list has subsequently been published by the journalists.
"Emma (like many high-profile individuals) set up an offshore company for the sole purpose of protecting her anonymity and safety," Watson's representatives said in a statement. "Emma receives absolutely no tax or monetary advantages from this offshore company whatsoever — only privacy."
Other names listed in the Panama Papers were Oscar Award-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, martial arts expert and actor Jackie Chan, and Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, upon the initial release of the papers. A further release of documents added the names of other celebrated British personalities, including Simon Cowell, the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, and Heather Mills, ex-wife of Paul McCartney.
While some are quick to suggest that Emma Watson, who has become deeply entrenched in political activism, has been using these offshore accounts for shady purposes and possibly to help anonymously fund the causes she feels strongly about, Emma's own reps are insisting that Watson sought out the accounts for privacy and security.
"UK companies are required to publicly publish details of their shareholders and therefore do not give her the necessary anonymity required to protect her personal safety, which has been jeopardized in the past owing to such information being publicly available," said Ms. Watson's statement. "Offshore companies do not publish these shareholder details."
Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor, and Luke Evans, is scheduled for a March 17, 2017 theatrical premiere.
[Image by Disney]