Angela Lansbury has revealed her thoughts on the upcoming Beauty and the Beast live-action remake, admitting that she doesn’t understand why it is being redone and predicting that it won’t be able to match the 1991 original.
The three-time Academy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress and five-time Tony Award winner made this admission to Entertainment Weekly to celebrate the 25th anniversary release of Beauty and the Beast, which originally hit cinemas back in 1991 and is seen as a Disney classic. In Beauty and the Beast Angela Lansbury, who is now 91 years old, voiced the character of Mrs. Potts.
And clearly, after being questioned about the impending remake, Angela Lansbury felt rather defensive about the original, as she insisted that she had no idea why Disney felt the need to do a new version of Beauty and the Beast. After being asked about her reaction to the news that there would be a new, live-action Beauty and the Beast, Angela Lansbury admitted, “I was a bit taken aback, naturally.”
“I thought, ‘Why? Why are we doing this over again?’ But I guess, I don’t know why they’re doing it. But they are and it will be interesting to see what they do with it,” she continued. “These are live action pieces and I know very well the actress who’s playing Mrs. Potts and she’s a very good friend of mine. It’s Emma Thompson.”
This then provoked Angela Lansbury’s interviewer to quiz the actress about whether it will be peculiar to see someone else playing Mrs. Potts, and she insisted, “Oh, absolutely.” This also gave her the opportunity to embark on another attack that was directed towards Beauty and the Beast.
Angela Lansbury quickly added, “I don’t quite know why they’re doing it. I can’t understand what they’re going to do with it that will be better than what we’ve already done. And how they’re doing it live – it may turn to be very entertaining and wonderful. It won’t be like the cartoon that we did, but it’s a good story – it’s one of the famous fairy stories that is known worldwide by children. Therefore, why not? I don’t blame them for doing it. But, I’m sorry, they’re not really on our territory. We did it as cartoon characters, and that is quite different from live actors.”
But while Angela Lansbury might be a little puzzled about why Disney has ordered a Beauty and the Beast live-action remake, the simple reason why the studio has done so is that their most recent new versions of their classic animated films have proven to be very, very profitable.
This began back in 2010 when Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland went on to gross $1.025 billion at the box office, despite the fact that it only received mixed reviews. Buoyed by this success, Walt Disney decided to follow Alice In Wonderland up with 2014’s Maleficent, which, while not quite as successful, still managed to gross $758.5 million. In 2015 Cinderella continued this trend by grossing $543.5 million, and earlier this year The Jungle Book galloped to a whopping $966.5 million gross.
Because of the income of all four of these films, Disney is currently in various stages of development on live-action versions of Dumbo, Pinocchio, The Sword In The Stone, Prince Charming, Peter Pan, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Aladdin, while they’re also planning sequels to both Maleficent, The Jungle Book, and Mary Poppins, too.
Next up is Beauty and the Beast, though, which has been directed by Bill Condon and sees Emma Watson and Dan Stevens take the titular roles. We’ll see if they can do the original justice and prove Angela Lansbury wrong when it’s finally released on March 17, 2017.
[Featured Image by Walt Disney & NBC]