beauty and the beast live action disney bill condonWith "Maleficent" having already amassed almost $200 million worldwide, it's no surprise that Disney would look to capitalize on its trend of revamping classic fairy tales in similar, live action fashion. (Keep in mind that they have "Cinderella" coming out next spring, starring Cate Blanchett, "The Jungle Book" is penciled in for October 2015, although we're honestly not sure how it's going to make that date, and an "Alice in Wonderland" sequel, again with Johnny Depp, earmarked for 2016.) The latest on this front is the fact that Disney has hired Bill Condon to direct a live action "Beauty and the Beast." It's a tale as old as time, really.

According to Hitfix, Condon won't just be drawing from Disney's 1991 breakthrough (the first animated feature ever to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar), but also from the Broadway musical that ran for a staggering 13 years (from 1994 to 2007). According to their sources, this will be a "straight-forward, live action, large-budget movie musical."

This isn't that much of a surprise, given how beloved the music is from the original film and musical, and Condon's background adapting lavish musicals (he scripted the Oscar-winning "Chicago" and wrote and directed the Oscar-winning "Dreamgirls"). Variety reports that the screenplay will be written by Evan Spiliotopoulos, who wrote this summer's "Hercules" and has worked with Disney for years, mostly on direct-to-video animated sequels like "Tarzan 2" and "The Lion King 1 ½," will pen the screenplay for the new movie (according to Variety).

We really can't wait to see who they cast in this, and feel like this could be the biggest and the best of this bumper crop of animated-to-live action transitions, especially because none of them have dared to be an all-out musical yet. (And, quite frankly, songs were sorely missing from "Maleficent" and, we imagine, the upcoming "Cinderella.") It will also nicely flow into the synergistic Disney ether, considering a large portion of the New Fantasyland project at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is centered around "Beauty and the Beast."

Who wants to start the petition for Channing Tatum to play Gaston? Like Gaston, Tatum uses antlers in all of his decorating!

Photo courtesy Disney

categories Movies