World

Beauty and the Beast release in Malaysia 'postponed'

PETALING JAYA The Malaysian release date for the highly-anticipated Disney film Beauty and the Beast, which has sparked some controversy overseas for including a gay character, has been postponed indefinitely.

The movie's opening date in Malaysia, which was set for Thursday, has been postponed due to an "internal review," film distributor The Walt Disney Co (Malaysia) said in an e-mail.

No other reason was given for the postponement, and there was no indication of the new release date.

A Disney spokesman declined to comment further when contacted by The Star newspaper yesterday.

At press time, Malaysia's major cinema chains had taken down the movie's showtime listings.

Starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast and Luke Evans as Gaston, Beauty And The Beast is a live-action remake of Disney's classic animated feature, which became the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in 1991.

The movie has courted controversy after its director Bill Condon said in UK magazine Attitude that the character of Le Fou, played by Josh Gad, would have a "nice exclusively gay moment" in the movie.

As a result, Russia imposed restrictions on the film, with children under the age of 16 banned from watching it.

A drive-through cinema in Alabama also banned the movie from its screens because of the gay character.

Watson was also in the headlines recently after posing for a risque cover shoot for US magazine Vanity Fair. - THE STAR

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