Beauty and the Beast will not get a sequel, however there is still hope for the story to continue.
The recently released live-action remake of the 1991 animated Disney classic – which stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as Belle and the titular Beast respectively – achieved record-breaking sales during its opening weekend, but the studio isn’t looking to cash in on a sequel as they don’t want to ruin the story.
Walt Disney’s Head of Production Sean Bailey says a spin-off movie or prequel is more likely, should the studio decide they want to revisit the franchise.
Sean said: “There are currently no plans for a sequel, and the studio won’t try to force one. It will explore possible spinoff and prequel scenarios.”
Meanwhile, the Disney executive also said the casting of 26-year-old Emma Watson in the lead role was down to the way she embodies an “empowered character” in her real life through her activism as well as on-screen.
He told Deadline.com: “We knew we wanted Belle to be a more empowered character, an ambitious, innovator version of the ’91 film. Emma embodied those things in her own life and it showed in her performance. Alan had the very long relationship with her from the Harry Potter films, and very early on he spoke about her traits, her activism, her work with the UN.”
It wasn’t just the studio who were impressed by Emma’s likeness to the role either, as her co-star Dan Stevens, 34, said he was “captivated” by her HeForShe campaign video which he watched prior to their shoot in which Emma urged men to be active speakers in the fight for gender equality.
Dan said about the speech: “It was really addressing a lot of things I had always seen in fairytales, that I had always seen in literature and really believe in: that feminism is about redressing a balance, and in order to do that you need to engage boys and men. You need to engage masculine energy, and grapple with what that balance is, what that entails, what are the elements of the patriarchy that need walking down and which are just elements of masculinity that need to be balanced with femininity.”