George R.R. Martin Wanted His ‘Beauty And The Beast’ TV Series To Be Dark As Hell

04.24.14 8 Comments

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Rolling Stone has a long, in-depth interview with Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin in its latest issue. It covers everything from his early life, to his process for writing the books, to fan reactions to the Red Wedding, to some of the more notable events from the current season. (So, spoilers, obviously.) He compares Joffrey to Hitler at one point. It’s a good read.

He also discusses his pre-Thrones career as a writer in Hollywood, specifically his work as a writer and producer on the TV version of Beauty and the Beast that CBS made in the late ’80s, starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. Guess what. GUESS. Okay, fine, I’ll tell you. You won’t even believe this. I hope you’re sitting down or at least leaning on something really sturdy. Ready? Are you sure?

George R.R. Martin wanted Beauty and the Beast to be way more violent.

I’d spent so many years sitting alone in a room, facing a computer or typewriter before that. It was almost exhilarating to go into an office where there were other people – and to have a cup of coffee, and to talk about stories or developments in writers’ meetings. But there were constant limitations. It wore me down. There were battles over censorship, how sexual things could be, whether a scene was too “politically charged,” how violent things could be. Don’t want to disturb anyone. We got into that fight on Beauty and the Beast. The Beast killed people. That was the point of the character. He was a beast. But CBS didn’t want blood, or for the beast to kill people. They wanted us to show him picking up someone and throwing them across the room, and then they would get up and run away. Oh, my God, horrible monster! [Laughs] It was ludicrous. The character had to remain likable.

I know it’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison because this series was very, very different from the movie, but the only thing I can think about right now is a version of “Be Our Guest” that ends with Lumiere slitting Belle’s throat.

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