Prior to Beauty and the Beast becoming a 1991 animated Disney hit, CBS turned the tale into a romance series in 1987 and George R.R. Martin was one of its three writers. The show was based on the original La Belle et la Bete by Jean Cocteau but the CBS version was a modern-day retelling.
In the CBS series, the maiden is a lawyer named Catherine who was attacked and left to die in Central Park. Vincent, a lion-faced man, saved her. Apart from George, Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa likewise served as the show’s writers. These two are also the minds behind Homeland and 24.
George is particularly fond of the project, that’s why he granted an interview to The Hollywood Reporter even if he vowed to focus on finishing Winds of Winter.
“I loved the show. Like any show there were high points and low points, but for the most part it was a great show to work on. I learned a lot. I like to think I contributed a lot. We were nominated for a bunch of Emmys. It was a good show. I’m proud of my association with it.”
However, he clarified that his work for Beauty and the Beast did not influence Game of Thrones because “they are very different shows.” He still finds the experience valuable especially because he has a penchant for weaving “imaginative literature.”
He went on to describe CBS’ Beauty and the Beast as a “gorgeous-looking show.”
“By the standards of 2017, television has come so far in terms of its cinematography and its look. But if you compare Beauty and the Beast from 1988 in terms of the other shows that were on, the photography was so lush, the sets and costumes, the Beast makeup…”
George is currently working on the final volumes of the Song of Ice and Fire series. He launched the series in 1996 and while it did not become phenomenal right away, thousands of fans across the globe now deem the tales of Westeros irresistible. For the last six years, they have been waiting for the follow-up to A Dance with Dragons.
When HBO decided to turn George’s work into a television program, the author found his schedule more hectic than ever. Apart from being invited to international conferences and book conventions, George similarly had to write some scripts for the Game of Thrones series.
He previously said that his constant travels were to blame for the Winds of Winter release delay. As opposed to what others are thinking, “writer’s block” had nothing to do with the delay. George claimed that he simply couldn’t write when he’s not at home.
While he wants to rid himself of distractions to finish the highly-anticipated Winds of Winter novel, recent reports claim that the novelist will start his own film studio which could mean further delays for the book’s release.
The Albuquerque Journal reported about the Stagecoach Foundation project which George launched in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he lives.
After receiving a generous donation in the form of a 30,000 square foot building, George plans to put up a production facility. The studio will welcome not only major Hollywood producers but also newcomers in the industry. Santa Fe mayor Javier Gonzales is hopeful that George’s planned studio will draw more interested producers to the city.
While it remains unknown if George will play an active role in the studio, some are worried that such responsibility could again push back the release of Winds of Winter.
HBO’s show already surpassed the happenings in the book. The network’s Game of Thrones is set to premiere its penultimate season in July.
[Featured Image by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Miller Lite]