‘Beauty and the Beast’ EPs Defend Handsome Lead, Tout Linda Hamilton Approval – by Michael O’Connell
Technically rebooting the 1987 series, the CW drama’s creative team try to explain the lack of beastliness and draw comparisons to “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
Meeting with reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, the team behind the CW’s Beauty and the Beast reboot had to answer to one very big question: Where’s the beast?
Jay Ryan, who plays Vincent Keller/Beast, is rarely seen in the pilot sporting anything more offensive than a scar on his right cheek. EPs Sherri Cooperand Jennifer Levin chalked it up to going for something more subtle.
“Most of the beasts in our lives don’t look like actual beasts,” said Cooper. “He’s a ticking time bomb.”
Ryan offered a more understandable explanation — albeit one that prompted another line of questioning.
“It’s actually more like the Jekyll and Hyde, like two people,” said Ryan. “The beast is more like a serial killer and Vince is trying to suppress him. You don’t get a lot of that in the pilot, but there will be more of that as the series goes.”
So why Beauty and the Beast and not Jekyll and Hyde? Cooper and Levin were very big fans of the 1987 original starring Linda Hamilton and a grizzly Ron Perlman. Those two characters, names and all, motivated for the reboot.
Sorry, EPs, but we’re calling “Bullshit!” No matter how you try to spin it, this ain’t BEAUTY AND THE BEAST or DOCTOR JEKYLL. Your title(s) and your P.R. are insulting in the extreme. Here’s hoping your writing is more than just a tad more believable.
Or, as our ole buddy the Toothless Mountain Man might say, “That boy sure is purty. Beast or no beast, I’m a’gonna make him squeal like a pig.”
We could just as easily headlined this: “What? You Thought Movie Marketing Mavens Knew What They Were Doing?” Because let’s face it, no matter how good this film about the deepening buddy relationship between a man suffering from Alzheimer’s and his robot caregiver may be – and the trailer below makes it look pretty darn cute – who in their right mind ,i.e., one that doesn’t suffer from Alzheimer’s, wants to see a film about someone who does?
Especially one starring Frank Langella, who may be the darling of New York film critics (or so we seem to recall – our own memories may not be all that swell), but who, let’s face it, isn’t about to bring anybody’s seat into a theater. Co-star Susan Sarandon isn’t going to help either because we don’t care how free-spirited she’s shown herself to be over the years, there’s just too many years there…although our grandfather’s might dig her, who knows?
We would say that we hope this movie was inexpensive to make, but after seeing what we’ve seen we’re sure that it was. Just as we’re sure that when the premise is stolen and modified it’ll become a moderate TV success on a network like FX. (Note to screenwriter Christopher Ford: Get your TV version going now!)
Remember the Nick Fury/S.H.I.E.L.D.. memo LB “discovered” on his desk last week? We still don’t know the complete truth behind the “Memos From Fury” phenomenon, but it’s so much for real that we have fantasies about being whomever started it.
Or shoving said starter off the helicarrier deck and replacing him/her.
I have now seen two (count ’em) two episodes of “Alphas.” My immediate response is, “Hey Alphas, The X-Men called and they want their plot back.”
Let’s see, an “inevitable war between normal people and alphas,” the government imprisoning alphas because they are a threat to normal people, a shadowy character who wants to lead the bad alphas to that inevitable war, a professor who tries to teach the good alphas to control their abilities and use them for good…shall I go on?
Maybe this is the “inevitable plot” when you deal with superpowers, but do so many of the details need to be so familiar?