At least on the screen, director Bill Condon has lately moved away from the musical roots that had his "Dreamgirls" a much-talked-about movie eight years ago, and his screenplay for "Chicago" even buzzier a few years before that.
In a tale as old as time, Condon wants back in.
The director, who spent years toiling in "Twilight"-ville with the two "Breaking Dawn" movies and then struck out with his Wikileaks story "The Fifth Estate" last year, will take on "Beauty and the Beast," a live-action (presumably music-centric-if-not-outright-musical) remake of the 1991 animated hit that Disney began developing in early 2013. Variety had the news first, noting that Evan Spiliotopoulos, screenwriter of next month's Dwayne Johnson-starring "Hercules," is writing for "Muppets" producer Mandeville Films, though not noting this project has been around for a while with Mandeville and previously had "Trance" writer Joe Ahearne taking a crack.
The new "Beast" comes on the heels of a solid $69-million opening for "Maleficent," the "Sleeping Beauty" spin that, because all fairy-tale movies are separated by no more than two degrees, is written by Linda Woolverton, who wrote ... the 1991 "Beauty and the Beast."