Nieuws over de muziek van Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Volgen jaar zal de live-action remake van Disney’s Beauty and The Beast in première gaan. Kijkers zullen kunnen genieten van 3 nieuwe liedjes, welke componist Alan Menken speciaal voor de film schreef. Menken was ook verantwoordelijk voor de muziek uit de originele film uit 1991, samen met Howard Ashman en Tim Rice. Een van de nieuwe liedjes is er eentje welke Emma Watson’s Belle samen met haar vader Maurice (Kevin Kline) zingt, een ander is “For Evermore,” welke gezongen wordt door Dan Stevens’ Beast. Menken zei:

“It ends up being a song called ‘Our Song Lives On,’ and it’s done in a number of forms. The first time it’s sung, it’s Belle’s father singing as he’s completing a music box, and basically it’s [about], ‘How does a moment live forever? How do you hang on to precious moments?’ Then, it’s reprised by Belle, and then it’s the song that’s actually over the end credits at the end of the movie. Disney hasn’t announced it yet, but there’s going to be some wonderful singer on the end credits song.”

“ ‘For Evermore’ is this moment where the Beast now loves Belle, and he realizes that she misses her father, and he acknowledges she’s no longer a prisoner, and when she sees her father’s in trouble, he says, ‘Go to him, go.’ And he voluntarily lets her go,” Menken continues. “He’s basically singing about how he now knows what love is, as he watches her leave, and he’s climbing up the turret of the castle as she recedes into the distance, just watching her go further and further away.”

Het derde nieuwe lied heet “Days in the Sun” en, volgens Beauty and the Beast producent David Hoberman, is het een heel speciaal nummer. Volgens Hoberman zal deze Menken een negende Academy Award opleveren. Menken zei:

“Well, that’s great of him to say that. ‘Days in the Sun’ is a moment when all of the objects in the castle —and Belle — are going to sleep. Basically, everybody in the castle is having memories of what it used to be when they had their days in the sun. It’s sort of a combination of a lullaby and a remembrance of happier days for everybody.”

De remake zal tevens ongebruikte liedteksten bevatten, welke geschreven zijn voor de animatiefilm uit 1991. Deze zijn geschreven door wijlen Howard Ashman en zullen te horen zijn in het lied “Gaston.” Menken zei hierover:

“In ‘Gaston,’ we had a treasure trove of lyrics that Howard had written that we did not put in the movie. In many cases they were a little bit risqué — not risqué sexually, but risqué in terms of sensibility. We all felt ready to have these lyrics. When Bill found out about those lyrics, he said, ‘Oh my god, can we please look at that, because it would be a wonderful way to add an extra freshness to the movie.’ So, yes, you’re going to hear some unheard Howard Ashman lyrics.”

Hij vervolgde:

“The guys at Disney reviewed all the transcripts and recordings and they’ve been able to go back through those hours and hours of recorded footage and listen to lyrics that were written and never used, which are actually gems. So, for the [audience members] who know the songs immensely well, which I think is most people, you will hear a few new lines, which are really, really special.” 

Regisseur Bill Condon vertelde dat er nog een ongebruikte liedtekst van Ashman gebruikt gaat worden in de film:

“It’s a surprise at the end. I don’t want to give that away, but it’s a really gorgeous lyric that we found.” 

In de film zullen we ook bekende liedjes horen, die we kennen uit de animatiefilm. Een daarvan is “Be Our Guest”, een complexe sequentie met aan de leiding Ewan McGregor’s kandelaar Lumière. Condon had hier het volgende over te zeggen:

“Well, it’s interesting to do what is going to be our biggest musical number with nobody there, except for some cutaways to Belle. It’s a four-minute number that cost more than  Mr. Holmes’ entire budget. We shot it with first and second unit for over a month and it’s taken over a year to put it together — and six months before that to plan it. I would guess that is pretty far up there in terms of most intricate and elaborate musical numbers ever shot.”

De choreografie van de sequentie was in handen van Anthony Van Laast (Mamma Mia!), wie het als een hele opgave zag:

“The biggest challenge has been doing the choreography for the animation, which I hadn’t really thought about when Bill approached me,” he says. “I’d never really thought about [it]. I mean, I’d seen a hundred animation films before but I’d never really thought that some choreographer had put it all together. Of course, a choreographer put it all together! So suddenly there I am with ‘Be Our Guest,’ and I’m thinking, God, this is a huge number to choreograph, using animation. Then we started talking about Pre-viz, and I had no idea what a Pre-viz was! So I went on a little course to learn about pre-viz, and then we’ve done all of the choreography for ‘Be Our Guest’ using pre-viz, and using motion capture, and me choreographing things on dancers, and then transferring that onto various characters. The teapot is limited in the way that they don’t have any legs. But Lumière is a full mover, so we’re choreographing Lumière, we’re choreographing Plumette. We’ve got these wonderful sort of flying sequences going into Esther Williams patterns.”

McGregor voelde zich niet helemaal op zijn gemak:

“It’s not very graceful doing mo-cap. You’re dressed in a skintight suit with balls stuck all over you and you’ve got to wear a very stupid hat. It’s not your proudest moment. And, of course, everyone wants to come and watch, so there’s like 50 people standing behind the camera. [Laughs] I had to say, ‘Look, I can’t do it, you’ve got to get everyone out!’”

Condon zei ten slotte:

“We just spent months and months and months and months. Anthony choreographed it, and we took that into a kind of computer world, and applied it to the characters. It’s going to feel very real. Photo real. It’s the most intricate thing I’ve ever worked on.”

Hoofdrollen zijn er voor Emma Watson en Dan Stevens als respectievelijk Belle en het Beest. Daarnaast speelt Luke Evans de rol van Gaston en Josh Gad Lefou. Emma Thompson speelt Mrs. Potts en Kevin Kline Belle’s vader, Maurice. Ewan McGregor zien we als Lumiere, Ian McKellen speelt Cogsworth, Stanley Tucci zal te zien zijn als Cadenza de piano, Gugu Mbatha-Raw als Plumette, Nathan Mack als Chip en Audra McDonald als Garderobe.

Achtvoudig Oscar-winnaar Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) zal de soundtrack van de film verzorgen. De score zal naast de oude nummers nieuwe bevatten. Daarnaast wordt er nieuwe muziek geschreven tezamen met Sir Tim Rice.

Beauty and the Beast wordt geregisseerd door Bill Condon op basis van een scenario door Stephen Chbosky en Evan Spiliotopoulos. De film draait vanaf 29 maart 2017 in de Nederlandse bioscoop.