Magazine article Screen International

Christophe Gans, Beauty and the Beast

Magazine article Screen International

Christophe Gans, Beauty and the Beast

Article excerpt

The French filmmaker and leading lady Léa Seydoux talk about the latest adaptation of the classic fairy tale.

A new adaptation of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast premiered in its France two days before having its first festival bow in Berlin on Valentine's Day.

But Beauty and the Beast could almost have been The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. When Pathé first informed director Christophe Gans of plans to adapt a French literature classic, the filmmaker opted for a remake of Victor Hugo's masterpiece.

But just as they were about to announce the decision, Gans changed his mind. The director recalled: "I thought, 'Shit...let's do something similar to Notre-Dame de Paris. Hugo's story is almost a Beauty and the Beast on Notre-Dame."

The new version of the beloved fairy tale is inspired by the longer version, written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, and includes elements of Nordic and Greek mythologies.

It was important for Gans that his adaptation made this aspect very clear, in which giants represent a very powerful force and to "show that these huge guardians are like old Greek Titans".

According to leading lady Léa Seydoux, this film is also for children. "These stories were made for little girls before marriage," says the actress. "They would say: 'Ok, you're going to meet the beast'".

She also claims that the values portrayed in the film are very strong and Gans agrees.

"I want to feel what kind of human being is in the film and I want to feel what kind of value this guy has," says the director.

Seydoux sees Beauty and the Beast as a feminist story. …

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