The live-action Beauty and the Beast movie has made over $1-billion, meaning a sequel is probably a near-guarantee. Disney probably won’t use their direct-to-video animated movie sequels (e.g. Enchanted Christmas or Magical World) as templates. Luckily, Emma Watson has a sequel idea of her own— unfortunately, it doesn’t take into account that Belle is mere years away from the guillotine.
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Watson said she “would love” to do a sequel, and even had a suggestion for what it could be about. Basically, it takes the most boring part of the Little Women sequel, Little Men, and adds a dash of convenient historical ignorance. “I always thought that Belle would become a teacher and she would run the library in the castle, and open it up to the village. This is where I was going,” Watson said.
Barring the fact that Belle the Royal Tutor sounds like the dullest movie ever, there’s no way Beauty and the Beast 2 would be anything resembling a utopian happily ever after where kids get royal library cards from His Royal Highness Dan Stevens. Because guess what’s on the horizon, bitches? The French Revolution.
The timeline for Beauty and the Beast is purposefully vague, but we do have some hints that the story took place around the 1760s. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Luke Evans said his character, Gaston, fought off Portuguese marauders in 1740, at 16 years old. If we assume he’s in his mid 30s, which would work for his character and the actor playing him, that would put the movie right around 1760.
The French Revolution didn’t fully get underway until 1789, which means Belle and Beast would have a couple of years before definitely losing their heads. But the decades beforehand weren’t exactly a walk in the park. From the 1760s up through that head-chopping period, France was in a tough spot. Class tensions were high. They had a shitty king who established no uniform system of law, and a nobility that looked down on the populace while enforcing a rigid caste system. There were protests, mobs, arrests, and thieving. On top of that, the country suffered a humiliating loss to the British during the Seven Years War, resulting in them losing a bunch of their North American territory. Prince Beast and Princess Belle would’ve had a lot of shit to contend with in their little town, quiet village. So here’s my version—with the kind assistance of Katharine and James—of how things should really go down in Beauty and the Beast 2:
The year is 1789 (following a montage of their “happy married life”). Belle and Beast have a gaggle of kids, all with weird animal-like quirks— for example, their middle son François likes to sleep on the floor. They’ve tried to endear themselves to the people, as Belle used to be one of them, but sadly the status quo needs to be upheld. They impose taxes on local farmers, while exempting themselves (as nobles did so they could keep up their aristocratic way of life). They establish rule of law, since King Louis XV couldn’t be bothered, which includes life imprisonment for LeFou for assisting Gaston’s previous rebellion. Then, Belle opens her stupid-ass library, which the villagers don’t take kindly to. Remember... they don’t want girls to read.
Not that Belle really realizes that the village was so surly due to decades of rising class tension. She just wanders through singing, “There go the sans-culottes with their caps like always, the same aristocrats to kiiiiiiillllllllllll.”
The savior this time is an unlikely one. It’s Gaston the Jacobin! He survived his fall and moved to Paris, where he surrounded himself with independent thinkers and the bourgeoisie. Gaston realized the nobility, namely Prince Beast, had crushed his ambitions and stolen the woman he loved, so he is out to save the people from a tyrant who inherited his title and beast-like monstrosity from his horrible king father. And the people love him for it. Gaston and his crew swarm the castle, accompanied by a sentient Mme. La Guillotine (because even that peasant enchantress realizes that the aristocracy is fucking useless by this point.), and Prince Beast and Princess Belle lose their heads... becoming the first victims of the French Revolution.
Hope that stupid library was worth it, Belle.