"Beauty and the Beast" will have more than a live-action update when the film hits theaters this month.
This time around, Belle will be three-dimensional in more ways than one. Star Emma Watson previously explained that they'd given Belle a new backstory, and a new featurette from Disney offers further insight into the revamped version of her beloved character. As the actress, some of her castmates, and director Bill Condon share, they've made Belle a true 21st century heroine -- one who is fearless, industrious, curious, and creative.
The featurette provides proof. At different points in the video, Belle takes matters into her own hands, whether that be lowering a makeshift rope out of a window, helping the Beast (Dan Stevens) problem-solve, or teaching a little girl to read. This is clearly not a princess sitting around waiting for a white knight.
It turns out the casting of Watson, a high-profile gender equality activist, was very intentional. Condon and fellow "Beauty and the Beast" stars acknowledged how ideal she was for the empowering part.
"Belle is a great role model because she stands up for who and what she believes in," Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Plumette) says in the featurette.
Watson, who grew up admiring Belle, took that responsibility seriously.
"I know what she meant to me as a young girl," she says. "When you love something that much, you really want to do it justice."
If you weren't already dying to see the film, watch the video below and be inspired.
"Beauty and the Beast" opens in theaters on March 17.
Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast's hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside. Read More