“Beauty and the Beast” might be a tale as old as time, but that doesn’t mean its gender politics have to be in the dark ages.
Details are slowly trickling out about Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of the classic love story, and we’re happy to hear that there’s a feminist twist in store for Emma Watson’s Belle.
“In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle,” Watson told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview. “I was like, ‘Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn’t fit in, other than she liked books. Also, what is she doing with her time?’ So, we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor.”
The remake, however, does stay true to one element of the original film. Belle and her father Maurice ― known to some as crazy old Maurice ― still share a close bond that’s informed by the death of her mother.
“Kevin Kline as Maurice is making all these music boxes that have to tell the story of Belle not traveling,” set decorator Katie Spencer told EW. “She’s overprotected in a way, by her father, because she’s lost her mother. So, we’ve made all these music boxes that represent different countries of the world, so she can see what she’s missing.”
This movie seriously can’t come out soon enough, so in the meantime, drool over the rest of Entertainment Weekly’s exclusive photos from the remake below:
“Beauty and the Beast” is set to hit theaters on March 17, 2017.