Emma Watson appears briefly in a teaser trailer for the upcoming Disney film that premiered online Monday.
“Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action remake of Disney’s 1991 classic, which has gone down in history as the first animated film ever nominated for the best picture Oscar.
The new trailer is clearly more of a mood-setter than anything, taking visitors on a short tour of the castle of the Beast (Dan Stevens, heard but not seen). It’s a once-grand but now musty place strewn with dead leaves and cobwebs. The only signs of life are the lit candles in the chandelier — a hint, perhaps, that the movie will include a live-action version of the original film’s ballroom scene, a dazzling technical achievement that used computer-generated imagery to create swirling camera movement and 3-D-style visuals.
Watson, who plays Belle, is barely heard — the only word she utters is “hello?” — and can be seen reaching for a luscious red rose.
“Beauty and the Beast” is the latest in Disney’s live-action reworkings of some of its most popular animated films, including 2015’s “Cinderella” and this year’s “The Jungle Book.” Both have been successful at the box office. Those two films were built on lesser-known stars (Lily James played Cinderella while the newcomer Neel Sethi played Mowgli), but “Beauty and the Beast” comes with the well-established Watson as its focal point. Though Watson hasn’t had any high-profile successes since her “Harry Potter” films, she remains a much-loved star. This film’s fantasy theme could draw “Potter” fans back to see her.
And yes, the film is said to be a musical. The trailer ends with the title of one of the original film’s songs: “Be Our Guest.”
“Beauty and the Beast,” directed by Bill Condon (of the final “Twilight” films), is due in theaters March 17, 2017.