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Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' Sets a Release Date

With "Cinderella" the belle of the ball this weekend, opening with $70.1 million, Disney today staked out March 17, 2017, for its live-action retelling of "Beauty and the Beast."

Directed by Bill Condon, the film stars the previously announced Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as Beast and Luke Evans. They're joined by Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts and Kevin Kline as Belle's father Maurice. "Frozen's" Josh Gad, who was reported last week to be playing LeFou, isn't mentioned in Disney's press release.

Alan Menken, who won an Academy Award for his score of the 1991 animated film, will also provide the score for the live-action adaptation, which will feature new recording of the original songs as well as new numbers written by Menken and Tim Rice.

Production is scheduled to begin in May at Shepperton Studios in London

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