‘Beauty and the Beast’ Remake: Fans React to News, Kristin Kreuk Casting

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By Cristina Merrill | February 22, 2012 12:04 AM EST

"Beauty and the Beast," a romantic fantasy television series that ran from 1987 through 1990, is set to be resurrected on The CW, and fans are weighing in on what they've heard so far.

The original series starred Linda Hamilton as Catherine Chandler, a lawyer in the Manhattan District Attorney's office, and Ron Perlman as Vincent, a lion-faced man who lived below the bustling city in a vast network of underground tunnels with other society outcasts.

The remake will star Kristin Kreuk of "Smallville" fame. The former Lana Lang will play a homicide detective with the NYPD who comes across Vincent, the victim of a military experiment gone wrong, Deadline.com reported. There is no word yet on who will play the 'Beast' character.

The original series may have ended more than 20 years ago, but fans -- as loyal as any Trekkie or Twi-Hard -- are feeling a bit antsy about the changes that could happen during the remake process.

JoAnn Baca, a co-moderator of a Yahoo! "Beauty and the Beast" online fan group, has been keeping an eye on the comments being posted in regards to the remake.

"Anything that reminds people of the 1980s show is a plus if it intrigues people and causes them to watch the version we have loved for a quarter of a century now," Baca wrote in an email. "But I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that there's a universal concern among fans that many of the elements that made the show so special are not in the re-boot."

Paul Simpson, the managing editor and co-creator of Sci-Fi Bulletin and author of companion books to the "Smallville" series, pointed out that the 1980s "BATB" series was "one of those rare shows that jumped outside of the genre" of fantasy and won a crossover audience. He doubts that die-hard fans will bother watching a remake.

"Whether they will ever buy into a recasting is unlikely," he said, adding that they may just watch the old series instead.

He does, however, think a better chance may exist among less die-hard fans who just want another version of the popular beauty-meets-beast storyline.

"If it's well written and if they get a good chemistry between Kristin Kreuk and whoever is cast as the beast then there's no reason lightning can't strike twice with the same idea," Simpson said.

One aspect of the remake is already sitting very well with fans of the original series: The casting of Kreuk as Catherine.

"Most of the fans who have watched CW shows for years know her and respect her talents," Baca wrote.

Simpson believes Kreuk, who also starred in the television movie "Snow White: The Fairest of Them All," is the "right sort of person" for this role thanks to her previous experience in the fantasy and scientific genres.

"She's been down that road before with the various plot lines in 'Smallville,'" he said.

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