Beauty And The Beast has been long overdue for an update, and the upcoming adaptiation, which hits theaters March 17, promises just that. A more modernized Belle (as an inventor who wears boots) is an important step for female characters, and director Bill Condon has another surprise up his sleeve: Disney's first openly gay moment.
In an interview with Attitude, Condon reveals that a moment between Gaston (played by Luke Evans) and his manservant LeFou (Josh Gad) will be the first in Disney movie history to explore the subject of sexuality.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston," he says. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
It's a small, but important step towards making these stories more inclusive.
Emma Watson, who plays Belle, has her own modern take on the production. In an interview she addressed the public concern that her character is experiencing Stockholm syndrome by falling in love with the Beast. Watson is skeptical.
"Stockholm syndrome is where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of, and fall in love with, in this really strange way, their captor," Watson explained. "Belle actively argues and disagrees with [the Beast] constantly. She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm syndrome. Because she keeps her independence. She keeps her independence of mind."
While that may be up to interpretation, it's good to know the movie is actively being more progressive in other areas. We can't wait to see how it turns out on screen.