In CW's Beauty and the Beast remake, the Beast's origin ties in with 9/11

Illustration for article titled In CW's Beauty and the Beast remake, the Beast's origin ties in with 9/11

Last week, we learned that there were currently two Beauty and The Beast TV pilots in development. One at ABC, which focuses on the fantasyland aspect of the fairy tale. And the second at CW, which was supposedly much more similar to the 1980s series, starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. But now a new batch of information about the sexy CW pilot has leaked — and it sounds like it'll be infinitely more ridiculous than the original Perlman series.

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MovieHole has the series specs for the show, which reveals a 9/11 tie-in — and new roommates for both the Beauty (who is a cop) and Beast (who is a scientist-karate fighter or something). And the Beast has a Wii!

Here are the highlights:

Vincent [The Beast] worked as a doctor at the New York University hospital – and was working on September 11, 2001 when the towers came down. Long story short, a wounded Vincent ends up in a medical clinic where he's injected with a DNA-changing drug. The drug turns him into an unstoppable soldier type that is used in Afghanistan. Think ‘Captain America' or a ‘Universal Soldier'. Unfortunately, the strength and stamina comes with a price…it also changes Vincent's look - in particular, hair sprouts hair everywhere.

When he returned from Afghanistan, looking like he is, he hid himself away- – with the help of T.J. [his roommate with a Wii and an endless supply of beer.

The synopsis goes on to reveal that police officer Catherine (who lives with her sister) won't stop "yammering" away about her mother's murder many years ago. (And it turns out Vincent saved her from sharing her mother's fate.) Catherine's job puts her on the case of a serial murderer who poisons his victims, which re-introduces her to Vincent. The rest of the series seems to follow that "monster of the week" formula, with Vincent and Catherine helping one another while Catherine brushes off advances from so many jerks (because she's into guys who are dicks).

All in all it kind of sounds like a Buffy clone — except she's a cop, because everyone who is tough on TV these days is a cop. Fingers crossed they ditch the confusing and lazy 9/11 nod because, seriously? Besides that, well... it sounds better than The Secret Circle, so that's a step up. Although I'm not sure how The CW is going to make money off of a sexy male lead if we can't see his face. Maybe he'll have a lot of flashbacks, or be transformed in and out of his poisoned appearance, Urkel/Stefan style.

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DISCUSSION

While I can understand that an adaption of a previous work needn't be slavish to the details of its predecessor, I don't understand why so many adapters feel the need to make arbitrary changes that toss out some of the strengths of the previous work.

Beauty and the Beast had its flaws, to be sure. There were any number of things I would have done differently if I were writing the show. One of the things they did right, though, was keeping Vincent's origins shrouded in mystery. If the show had continued, no doubt that topic would have been explored, but as it was, it was one of the things that made the show work.

Rather than doing a hard reboot, I think the property would be served best by an inline reboot. If memory serves, the show ended with Vincent having recovered his and Catherine's son, Jacob. That was in 1990. Jacob would now be 22, a pretty good age for casting some hot young stud to bring in the female audience. I imagine, however, that the show never had a large enough fan base for such a thing to be practical.