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Beastly is an upcoming 2010 fantasy romance feature film, based on Alex Flinn's 2007 novel of the same name. The film is written and directed by Daniel Barnz and stars Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris and Lisa Gay Hamilton. The plot focuses on Kyle Kingson, a handsome man with an evil streak, who ditches a classmate who is a witch in disguise during an environmental bash. The witch, then, casts a spell on Kyle and physically transforms him into a grotesque monster. It will be distributed to theaters by CBS Films on July 30, 2010.
Kyle Kingson (Alex Pettyfer) has it all – looks, intelligence, wealth and opportunity – and a wicked cruel streak. Prone to mocking and humiliating “aggressively unattractive” classmates, he zeroes in on Goth classmate Kendra Hilferty (Mary Kate Olsen), inviting her to the school’s extravagant environmental bash. Kendra accepts, and, true to form, Kyle blows her off in a particularly savage fashion. She retaliates by casting a spell that physically transforms him into everything he despises. Enraged by his horrible and unrecognizable appearance he confronts Kendra and learns that the only solution to the curse is to find someone that will love him as he is – a task he considers impossible. Repulsed by his appearance, Kyle’s callous father (Peter Krause) banishes him to Brooklyn with a sympathetic housekeeper (Lisa Gay Hamilton) and blind tutor (Neil Patrick Harris).
As Kyle ponders how to overcome the curse and get his old life back, he chances upon a drug addict in the act of killing a threatening dealer. Seizing the opportunity, Kyle promises the addict freedom and safety for his daughter, Linda Taylor (Vanessa Hudgens) if she will consent to live in Kyle’s Brooklyn home. Thus begins Kyle’s journey to discover true love in this hyper-modern retelling of the classic “Beauty and the Beast” story.
- Alex Pettyfer as Kyle Kingson/Hunter: the handsome man with an ugly streak who gets transformed when he ditches a girl at his school in a school event. The producers released a statement that they were seeking a teen actor in the vein of Robert Pattinson for the role of Kyle. Pettyfer was in negotiations to star as Kyle, and was eventually officially cast in late April 2009. Pettyfer had gained 12-15 pounds of muscle for the role and had to shave his hair.
- Vanessa Hudgens as Linda Taylor: the "beauty" of the story. Hudgens remarked that she fell for this project from the moment she read Barnz's screenplay. Out of the rest of the cast, Hudgens' involvement was first heard in early April.
- Mary-Kate Olsen as Kendra Hilferty: the eccentric girl behind Kyle's transformation. Olsen was cast in early June, 12 days prior to filming, for the role of Kendra.
- Neil Patrick Harris as Will Fratalli: Kyle's blind tutor.
- Lisa Gay Hamilton as Magda: the Kingson's maid.
- Peter Krause as Rob Kingson: Kyle's father.
- Dakota Johnson as Sloane Hagen
- Erik Knudsen as Trey Parker
- Gio Perez as Victor
|I was very inspired by 'Say Anything.' I thought there was this kind of rawness and visceral qualities of those years. Being 18 and 19 and what those years are like. So, I wanted to translate that into this film as well.
—Daniel Barnz, director of Beastly on writing the screenplay
Alex Flinn's 2007 supernatural romance novel, Beastly was adapted into a film produced by CBS Films. On February 2009, it was announced by CBS Films President and Chief Executive Officer Amy Baer that Daniel Barnz was hired to direct and write the screenplay, after CBS Films bought the feature rights to Beastly back in December 2007, with the option of HarperTeen. This will be one of the first projects to be put into development by CBS Films. Susan Cartsonis is producing the film through her company, Storefront Films while Roz Weisberg is co-producer.
CBS Films president and CEO Amy Baer spoke positively on the new director, saying, "Daniel’s fresh vision makes him one of the most exciting directors of his generation,’ Baer said. ‘We are thrilled to partner with him as he brings his unique voice to arguably the most universally resonant myth in storytelling."
Initially, the executives hoped for a late 2008 theatrical release but the WGA strike has delayed that strategy. Barnz anticipates bringing an indie sensibility to Flinn's story. "It's a very commercial idea that I get to tell in a highly artistic fashion," he said. Barnz stated:
There was this sort of hyper-modern version of this story and that it was told from his perspective, which we'd never seen before and thematically, because it's all about beauty and how you look and inner beauty that this was such a great story set in the teenage world and for teenagers, because it has such a great message to it.
In writing the script, Barnz was inspired by the film, Say Anything and Twilight. He wrote the script and thought about what was it like to be 18 or 19 years of age. But Barnz still based the screenplay on the novel, saying he "immediately fell for it, because I saw that there was an amazing opportunity to tell a modern version of this fairytale and I loved the idea of it." Barnz remarked that he was happy to see the story told through the beast's perspective that it focused more on the romance than the supernatural.
Barnz previously directed Phoebe in Wonderland which also focuses around a plot that pays homage to a fairy tale only with a different modern twist, praised the book and said:
The studio originally had the book and I immediately fell for it, because I saw that there was an amazing opportunity to tell a modern version of this fairytale and I loved the idea of it. There was this sort of hyper-modern version of this story and that it was told from his perspective, which we'd never seen before and thematically, because it's all about beauty and how you look and inner beauty that this was such a great story set in the teenage world and for teenagers, because it has such a great message to it.
in prosthetics as the beast. The makeup includes 67 pieces, and 60 tattoos and individual scars in his whole body. It took 6 hours to apply the full-body makeup.
Alex Pettyfer once said in an interview that he only looks like his normal self in the film for a few minutes. For the rest of his time frame, he will be wearing a specially designed "grotesque" prop as the beast. Pettyfer's appearance in the film mostly featured him with his beast prosthetics. As described in the novel, it was supposed to be "hairy" and "gross", but the film makers did some slight revisions. Pettyfer was delighted with the revision and stated:
I was very happy to know I wasn't going to be furry. Question is, were you happy I wasn't furry? Well, I think the audience will be happy. This beast make-up is phenomenal. You're talking to someone who is a fanatic about it [prosthetics and movie make-up] and I've never seen anything that looks remotely similar to this.
Pettyfer's beast makeup was composed of 67 pieces. There are 7 pieces to be put on his head and other 60 tattoos and individual scars applied when he had the full body make up on. The facial prosthetics and tattoos took almost three hours to apply, and to put on the full body makeup took the artists 6 hours to finish. Pettyfer commented on his 'transformation':
It really affected me because as soon as I shaved my head it kind of put me in this weird place, the same place [Kyle is in after his transformation] which really helped me with the role a lot. But at the same time, it kind of is a challenge because you are fighting personally with your own problems off set, but then onset you have a great resource to go to.
Tony Gardner and Alterian, Inc. were responsible for the design and creation of the prosthetics and tattoos. Their work also includes John Travolta as Edna Turnblad for the "Hairspray (2007 film)" movie, as well as the more recent "Zombieland." Jamie Kelman handled the daily application of the prosthetic makeup on Alex Pettyfer. Hudgens described the beast's look as "crazy" and that it moved her in "a really weird and peculiar way." Several days before the announced production date, several members of the cast were photographed while headed to a wardrobe studio for fittings. The costumes and the wardrobes used in the film were designed by Suttirat Anne Larlarb, who is known for her Academy Award winning work for the film Slumdog Millionaire.
Beastly is one of the first feature films to be produced and distributed by CBS films with a budget of $20 million for filming and marketing. With more than 300 Quebecers hired to become extras for the film, production began on June 13, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. and ended in August of the same year. They shot some scenes in Old Montreal and Laval. The Mount Royal Park in Montreal was used as one of their settings, in which it was the equivalent of Central Park in New York and other outside locations for the film as well.
The Quebec government announced on June 12, 2009 that it was increasing its tax credit for foreign producers making films and TV shows here from 25 per cent of labour expenses to 25 per cent of the entire budget of productions shot here, and Beastly was one of the film productions who chose to film in Montreal, before the announcement of tax-paying increase was pronounced.
Hudgens left for Montreal after the MTV Movie Awards, saying that filming would start that week. "I'm laid-back about it," she said. On June 4, 2009, Hudgens and Pettyfer arrived in Montreal. Neil Patrick Harris headed to Montreal to shoot his scenes, and at the same time, for his lead role in an independent film. Local Montreal diner Place Milton is featured as Cafe Santiago. Hudgens was the first to wrap up, because she had to promote her film, Bandslam.
Music and soundtrack
Songs by Swedish indie band Marching Band will be featured in the film.
Promotional logo released.
The first teaser trailer was released on November 20, 2009 during the previews of New Moon. The 23-second teaser received reactions and comments from commercial sites. Annie Barrett of Entertainment Weekly remarks that "Alex Pettyfer is giving off more of a (Disney pretty-boy) Gaston vibe than the Beast here.
Though it was still the first days of principal photography for Beastly, CBS Films has already announced that Beastly will have apparel and accessories, social expressions and gaming eyed for consumer product treatment for the film's marketing. Among the products planned are proprietary and co-branded games and puzzles for release worldwide by Fundex; figures and bobbleheads worldwide by Bif Bang Pow!; costumes, masks and accessories for the US and Canada from Rubie’s; and video games worldwide from Storm City, among others. CBS Consumer Products has rallied a number of partners for movie-inspired merchandise.
The latest signings include:
- Accessory Innovations for tote bags, wallets, bag clips, messenger bags, cross-body satchels, key chains and bookmarks (U.S.)
- Bif Bang Pow for figures and bobbleheads (worldwide)
- C&D Visionary for stickers, patches, magnets, buttons, key chains and (non-lenticular) bookmarks (U.S.)
- Fundex for games, co-branded games and puzzles (worldwide)
- Genki Wear for fragrances (U.S.)
- Hallmark for greeting cards and other social expressions (U.S.)
- Harper Collins for an original novel (worldwide)
- Jerry Leigh for fashion T-shirts and hoodies (U.S.)
- LTL Prints for removable wall art (North America)
- Philcos for fashion T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, mood jewelry, blankets, headwear, glassware, buttons and wallets (Canada)
- Rubies for costumes, masks and accessories (U.S./Canada)
- Rock Paper Pencils for lenticular journals, bookmarks, pens and stationery (U.S.)
- Storm City for a video game (worldwide)
- Scorpio for posters (U.S.)
- Sticker You for stickers, decals, static clings and appliqués (U.S.)
The film will be distributed by CBS films to the US on July 30, 2010. It is rated PG-13 in the U.S. It will be then released to Malaysia on October 28, 2010. Alliance Films, based in Montreal, will release the film in Canada under a deal done by Alliance and CBS films. Sony Pictures will be handling all international distribution. Beastly will have its August 2010 release in the Philippines under Columbia Pictures.
It ranked #45 in The Times' 50 Biggest Movies Of 2010.
In early February 2010, it was announced that both Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens will be honored at ShoWest as the Stars of Tomorrow.
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