Original Beauty and the Beast Directors Are Surprised They Got Remake Credit, But Made Zero Money
Original Beauty and the Beast directors did not make a “red cent” from the 2017 live-action adaptation. Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale directed the 1991 animated classic and were given executive producer credit on the live-action movie, which earned over $1 billion at the global box office. Some scenes from the movie are lifted directly from the 1991 version that Wise and Trousdale oversaw, but they were not compensated financially by Disney.
“I didn’t get a red cent from the new Beauty and the Beast,” Kirk Wise said. Gary Trousdale confirms, “No, there was no financial to it. And the fact that we got credit was a surprise to me.” Wise then says, “Me too! Thanks!” Wise and Trousdale had no idea they would be receiving executive producer credits on the 2017 take on the story. Trousdale had this to say about how he learned about the credits.
“I got invited to the premiere at the El Capitan, which was a surprise. I know Don Hahn [who produced the original Beauty and the Beast] pulled strings to make that happen. And I’m sitting there with my girlfriend and the credits went by was like ‘Holy crap there I am!’ Don worked his magic with that as well.”
Although Disney did not pay them any money for taking a story that they brought to life and reimagining it, Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale aren’t really saying anything bad about their experience with the new version of Beauty and the Beast. They’re also not saying anything negative about working with Disney. With that being said, they do have some preferences as to which versions of the story are the best. Wise explains.
“I have mixed feelings about the live-action remakes. On one hand, it’s great to have been involved in movies that have had so much longevity and have created so much affection for them in the audience that they’d be excited to see a new adaptation of the movie… But also, it’s like … go watch the old one.”
Gary Trousdale was far more direct in his response to comparing the two versions of the movie. “My completely objective and non-varnished opinion is that the animated ones are better anyway,” Trousdale said. “And that’s just me.” Wise adds, “It’s not just you.” The directing duo are also behind The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is on its way to getting a live-action adaptation from Disney, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which is rumored to get the live-action treatment. They do not expect to be paid for those adaptations either.
Disney’s live-action take on Mulan hits Disney+ next month and original directors Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft will not be compensated monetarily. Disney simply does not pay the ones who helped bring the animated classics to life, which has been a point of contention for more than a few of these original directors. This mostly stems from the fact that animation and live-action teams are represented by two different unions, which proves as an effective loop hole for the studio. The interview with Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise was originally conducted by Collider.