After 'Fifth Estate' Failure, Bill Condon is Directing 'Beauty and the Beast'

Twilight director Bill Condon is back in the blockbuster business after the disappointment of WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate and will director Disney's live-action movie Beauty and the Beast. The news comes after the studio scored a major success with Maleficent, which earned $170 million worldwide during its opening weekend. 

Bill CondonBill Condon will direct 'Beauty and the Beast'

Disney has also released live-action versions of Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland to huge success, and has Cinderella pencilled in for 2015, as well as Jon Favreau's Jungle Book movie.

The original Beauty and the Beast film opened in 1991 and went on to earn $425 million worldwide, cementing its status as a true animated classic. 

More: new crime drama Beauty and the Beast is looking pretty ugly

Condon has been in talks with Disney for months, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He directed Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2. However, his CV suffered a blip last year with the Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate. Despite a strong lead performance from British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, the movie was derided by critics and took only $8.5 million at the box-office, despite a budget of $26 million. Condon also helmed the 2006 hit Dreamgirls, based on the Broadway musical. 

Beauty and the Beast - or La Belle et la Bete - is a traditional fairy tale first published in La Jeaune Americaine et les contes marins in 1740. It tells the story of a prince who is magically transformed into a monster as punishment for his arrogance, and a young woman whom he imprisons in his castle. 

More: 'Beauty and the Beast' is just beastly. 


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