Each winter gives way to spring, to hope eternal, to new movies and TV shows to watch while ignoring the fresh flowers and summer breezes and changing foliage of the unforgiving outdoors. And looking at the upcoming season's release schedule, there’s no reason to think that 2017 won’t deliver wonders for our eyes and ears. From old favorites (HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious”) to shiny new confections (Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” the CW’s “Riverdale”), the year to come does what all new years do: dangle promise before us, daring us to reach for it.

Here are the movies and television shows that the L.A. Times’ Calendar staff are most excited to see in 2017. We don’t know if any of them will be any good, but we can’t wait to find out.

(Reminder: Release and premiere dates subject to change.)


'Beauty and the Beast'

Director: Bill Condon
Cast : Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor, Dan Stevens, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans, Josh Gad

Let’s be real. A live-action “Beauty and the Beast” with full-on musical soliloquies is a bold idea. But the thought of Emma Watson as Belle running up a hill belting out, “I want adventure in the great wild somewhere,” hits right in that sweet nostalgia spot, hard.

There is absolutely no way a live-action film about singing household objects and a young woman falling in love with what appears to be the human form of Black Phillip from “The Witch” should work, and yet we’re curious. Deadly curious.

The chances of finding one member of this office sitting front row full-on cry-singing through “Bonjour” one minute and then uncomfortably squinting at Dan Stevens’ interpretation of the Beast is very high. Why? Because the cast reads like it came straight out of the Internet’s dream journal.

Watson and Stevens play the leads while Ewan McGregor was cast as the candlestick, Lumiere; Ian McKellen is the clock, Cogsworth; and Emma Thompson is the teakettle, Mrs. Potts. Early standouts Luke Evans as the egomaniacal villain Gaston and his lackey Le Fou, played by Josh Gad, already have been creating plenty of buzz after the two started singing from their Instagram accounts.

It feels like Disney has been ramping up to this feature film for years, first with the song-free live adaptation of “Cinderella” in 2015 followed by Jon Favreau’s “Jungle Book,” which trotted out a few familiar tunes from the animated classic. But this “Beauty and the Beast” adaptation feels less like another artist’s interpretation and more like an homage to the past.

There are a lot of emotional chips riding on this flick. Nail it, and the fans will love you forever. Fail, and they’ll accuse you of destroying their childhood, yet again.

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