Director Guillermo del Toro was originally set to direct the Warner Bros. Beauty project, but he abruptly pulled out of the project back in June. Though the studio said it would still move ahead with the movie at the time, the project seems to have stalled following the director’s departure, with no apparent progress being made in recent months. Prior to del Toro’s exit, Emma Watson was set to star in the feature as the studious, literature-loving Belle. Now, with no current movement on the film and Chbosky’a addition to the Disney version, Entertainment Weekly is suggesting the actress could jump—or, more accurately, switch—ship.
As the report points out, the prospect of leaving one Beauty and the Beast film for another may seem ridiculous, but the move wouldn’t be entirely surprising, especially given Chobsky and Watson’s history together. Watson starred in the film adaptation of the author’s Perks of Being a Wallflower back in 2012. The two were also set to team up on Fox’s adaptation of Adena Halpern’s novel While We’re Young, but the studio decided not to move forward with the project. If the Warner Bros. Beauty adaptation doesn’t pick up speed or ends up falling apart altogether, it seems fair to assume that Watson might be interested in starring in Chobsky’s version. Meanwhile, Disney would probably be thrilled to have her, especially given the largely positive reaction the public had to the news of her casting.
Regardless of how the projects end up shaking out, moviegoers should prepare themselves for plenty more live-action fairy tale flicks headed their way as the craze shows no signs of dying down. On the heels of Disney’s largely successful Maleficent earlier this summer, it seems every studio is looking to create their own version. In addition to their currently stalled Beauty and the Beast film, Warner Bros. also has a Peter Pan origin film from Joe Wright scheduled for 2015. Universal is also in on the trend, with two fairy tale-related movies in the works: a live-action version of Little Mermaid directed by Sofia Coppola and the Snow White and the Huntsman prequel, The Huntsman, due out in 2016.