The Long-Rumored Koslow Beauty and the Beast Movie

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Beginning in early 1990, letterzines and many other venues of fan communication in Beauty and the Beast (TV) fandom had many, many discussions about, and hopes for, a Beauty and the Beast (TV) film, either on television or as a theatrical film., something that many referred to as "our movie."

Fan communication, discussion, and behavior was complicated by the often intense confrontations among fans about the controversial changes in the show in the third season. For more on that, see The Beauty and the Beast Wars.

Despite years of speculation and letter writing campaigns, this movie was never made.

Some Topics Discussed

  • should the movie be "third season" (Catherine Chandler is dead, and Diana Bennett is the lead female character), or should it be "classic" (Catherine Chandler alive and she and Vincent Wells would be together)
  • should Ron Koslow write the movie
  • whose fault was it if the movie was never made
  • pleas by fans to other fans to be supportive and loyal in their calls and letters to TPTB
  • the frustrations of being jerked around by rumors and statements by TPTB
  • fans' eternal optimism and "keeping the dream alive "
  • fans' desperation for this movie to heal their emotion wounds
  • fans admonishing other fans to "behave well" so it would be more likely that the movie would be gifted to them
  • could fans recruit Linda Hamilton's identical twin to take on the role of Catherine Chandler [1]

Fan Meta in Response

Fan Comments

1990

[April/May 1990]: One rumour did surface in regards to a hypothetical B&B TV-movie to be filmed this summer for CBS. This was credited to Jill Coplan at Republic Pictures and supposedly confirmed by Producer Howard Gordon. Would that it were true, but Jill denies having ever said it in the first place; and both Howard Gordon and Producer Alex Ganza are now working on developing their own pilots. (Let us know what's in the works when you can, fellas!) [2]

[June 1990]: There continue to be rumors about a B&TB movie, and Ron Koslow has said that talks are under way, but as far as I can see, that's no different than the news of a couple of months ago. Yes, everyone would like to do a movie, but it seems no real progress has been made yet. Another rumor is that Ron Koslow might be the one to write the script if there is a movie. What do you all think of that? I have to admit to having a slight case of mixed feelings on that one; what could we expect, at this point, from the man who wrote the pilot episode, "A Happy Life," and "Though Lovers Be Lost..."? [3]

[June 1990]: Come, join me in taking the first step. I want to see that movie — I want to visit the Tunnels once again— I want Ron, Roy, Linda, Jay, Edward Albert to breathe life into those incredible characters who have become more than images on a screen — they are our family, just as we are to one another. [4]

[June 1990]: So many of my friends have said to me that they will be unable to "heal" unless the story of Catherine and Vincent can somehow have a happy resolution. The ghost of Catherine haunts many of them. I think fandom can be healed, but many of us will need more than that to be able to view B&TB as we once did. I would be happy if there were only one more movie, and it reunited Vincent and Catherine. I would ask for no more. But only time will tell exactly what is in the future for B&TB. I've already written two letters to Republic and intend to write more. [5]

[June 1990]: In the bad rumor department, it has been touted around the grapevine that CBS is interested in doing a two-hour TV movie with Vincent and CATHERINE. Folks — it 'aint so. Upon checking directly with the CBS source mentioned in the rumor, it was discovered that what he had actually said to this fan was that if she wanted to see a project like this, she should write to the department that handles TV movies. It was made very clear to us that CBS has NO PLANS to make a movie of this type. What we are all reacting to is the hope of resurrecting our series. [6]

[July 1990]: I don't want her back as a spirit, or another movie about death. A movie based on "Night of Beauty." I hate that story. It is just as horrible as TLBL. TLBL was a nightmare... [7]

[September 1990]: Is anyone else cringing at the thought of a theatrical movie with Ron Koslow at the helm again? Perhaps I am too unforgiving, but if a movie does make it to the theaters, I will wait to see Ron Perlman's name, in addition to Linda Hamilton's, as the stars before I plunk down my $7. Of course I will be writing to support the movie — but the way I would like to see it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. [8]

[November 1990]: I have absolutely no qualms about Koslow penning [a future Beauty and the Beast movie]. At the very least I would want him to co-write. I haven't forgotten that NONE of what I enjoyed so much in the show and in fandom would ever exist without him. I know a lot of fans feel they don't "owe" him anything, and I respect those feelings, but HIS vision has brought me so much joy and fun over the past three years, I guess I feel I owe him at least a small bit of loyalty and think I would still feel that way even if I had been disgusted with season three, and I definitely WAS NOT! I still have great respect for his work and talent, and still feel he understands most of the B&TB characters as well as anyone — especially Vincent. [9]

[November 1990]: I am very much afraid that if we let the producers make the proposed movie without any constructive input from us, then we may just see the story retooled one more time into something that is unrecognizable to any of us. [10]

[December 1990]: I am convinced to a certainty that the movie, if and when it comes, will be about the reunion of Vincent and Catherine. This is what, I believe, the majority of the fans want — and it is clearly what Ron Perlman wants. [11]

1991

[January 1991)]: Just one more general comment, then I'll close. Unlike other people, I really don't like the idea of Ron Koslow writing the script of a B&TB movie (if there is going to be one) simply because I personally feel he really lost sight of his own characters. I also can't forgive him for what he did to Catherine/Linda (and Vincent), which, as I mentioned before, will probably always affect the way I feel about and approach B&TB. To me, he deliberately set out to destroy his own creation with the third season, and I would feel more comfortable and happy if the project was placed in the hands of someone else. [12]

[January 1991]: Re: the movie: I want V. & C. to have their happy life, third season resolution, and some real love scenes, romantic ones. A lovely wedding, adventure, romance. No land-of-the-dead stuff; I'd like the witness protection program. I'd also like to see Jo Anderson included in new productions. She's very special as Diana. Father, Joe, Pascal, William, Mary, I want them all in it. After that, cable TV movies. I'd like the movie to be three hours long. [13]

[February 1991]: We must always have hope. Our beautiful show will die if we don't keep fighting to bring back some movies.[14]

[February 1991]: There are two points to be made here. One, fanzines, and any other fan merchandise, are illegal, and in copyright violation, no matter how many you sell or how much you sell them for, or even if you give them away. Two, most studios understand that a healthy fandom is what keeps interest in a TV show alive for the future — when movies might be made -- and so they ignore the existence of zines. They realize that the free publicity that active fans can bring a show is worth the (extremely small) loss of revenue. STAR TREK is a perfect example of this. [15]

[February 1991]: I hope Linda will be in the B&TB movie if it is ever out. In my juvenile mind I hope it is the TV series Linda will have nothing to do with. There will only be one way to find out. When we get our movie. [16]

[March 1991]: I am not wildly happy to hear that Ron Koslow will helm any future B&TB movie. My fear is that he will not be willing to admit he made a mistake (to put it mildly) and will want to let the status quo stand — perhaps out of stubborn pride — in spite of the majority's wishes. A man capable of trashing, warping — and, yes, raping — his own creation is probably capable of anything. Wrong or right, this is the impression l have been left with— this is how I have been made to feel. This is why the name "Koslow" fills me with apprehension, and not joy (as it once did, but no more).[17]

[March 1991]: There may never be a season four or even a movie; but in the pages of wonderful zines, on the canvases of the artists, in the smiles of friends there continues to be a beautiful, eternal dream. [18]

[April 1991]: Until they, as Ron so aptly put it, "reunite the lovers," I firmly believe they have screwed themselves out of a lot of potential B&TB revenue. There is a market for original novels, calendars, tapes, etc., but not as long as the storyline remains in a state of highly disliked limbo. They need to go back to the innocence and hope of the first season, when they were at their zenith, and try to recreate the magic and fantasy once more. If Republic were smart — and up till now I hope someone has been keeping sharp objects and loaded guns away from the decision-makers — they would bury the third season episodes until the movie came out, and do a lot of damage-control with the fans, hinting that the lovers will be reunited. Heck, if it went big screen, we nutty fans would probably pay good money just to see the trailers. [19]

[April 1991]: We have really no control over what Koslow has decided to do with the movie. If you feel strongly, write the man a short, honest, kind letter. [20]

[April/May 1991]:
"We're working on the movie script now," it read, quoting Beauty and the Beast's creator Ron Koslow, adding that it will answer a lot of the questions the series left open when it ended." The article, with some reservations, was confirmed by Mr. Koslow's office, though under protest that as the title of the article implied it's only in the works" and basic planning stages. Another trusted source in the know, however, was a bit more reassuring, stating simply: "The movie is real." [21]

[May 1991]: But there's a more important practical consideration in all this. If "classic" and "third season" factions are determined to remain divided, then "classic" fans must maintain their visibility — and in the most positive (not negative) ways. We must maintain their visibility — and in the most positive (not negative) ways. We must continue to be represented at conventions. It's the only way to be heard. Boycotting has its uses, and I respect those who act on the courage of those convictions. Yet by our absence, we in effect relinquish such gatherings to the other "small but (equally) vocal" following. This means that our needs, with regard to the hoped-for movie, may not be heard, recognized, or ultimately, satisfied ... and we'd have no one to blame but ourselves. I refuse to be relegated to that sort of obscurity; I'm just not that kind of wallflower any more. More importantly, as a dreamer, I won't surrender the fate of Vincent and Catherine to others' perhaps-less-tender mercies. [22]

[May 1991]: I hope Ron Koslow eventually will have the decency to undo — or somehow put to right — all the damage he and his merry band of men knowingly initiated to my beloved programme and reunite the lovers — so they are not lost forever — in the B&TB movie. [23]

[June/July 1991]:

When Linda Hamilton said, on the Larry King Live interview, that she did not want to go back to B&TB, I think all our hearts stopped for a moment in disbelief. (Which is not really fair, since Ron has also stated (once, a while ago) that B&TB was in the past for him, and no one was ready to jump all over his head for it—as some people are now ready to do to Linda.)

[...]

The point is—this is not the time for us to start ripping each other to shreds again, please! No, [Hamilton's] words were not what we were expecting to hear. I still feel that her words are no reason for me to change my mind about how I feel about B&TB, Vincent and Catherine, or what I expect from a B&TB movie. None of those things have changed for me; what is far more likely to happen is that Linda will change her mind. Why would she say "yes" to a project that still exists primarily in people's hearts and minds, is not actually even down on paper yet (no matter what anyone may try to tell you)? There's nothing for her to say "yes" to! And the only thing I know, for certain, at this point, is that Ron Koslow has become convinced that Linda is essential to the success of a B&TB movie -— not just Catherine, but LINDA as Catherine. (You could say she has kind of bad timing, I guess!)

... I believe that our best efforts (for those of us who agree with him) should be directed towards convincing Ron Koslow that we are behind his convictions about Linda, and that we are counting on him to write a script that will convince Linda that Catherine Chandler is a character she wants to play again. Since B&TB's future is not set in stone at this time, this is the perfect time for us to make our feelings known — politely, rationally, firmly — and to try to influence B&TB's fate. If we truly believe in the Dream . ..in love and hope — there's nothing else we can do. Take care, reach out to one another, be well. [24]

[June/July 1991]:

I will not go to see a B&TB movie that does not include Linda Hamilton (playing an alive and well Catherine, at least at the end). What Linda said has not changed that in any way, shape, or form. As far as I'm concerned, the role of Catherine Chandler was written for her, and she invested a lot into it. On the basis of those two facts alone, I doubt we will ever see a movie with Catherine but without Linda. I can't see Ron Koslow allowing another woman to play the role he wrote specifically for Linda. And I frankly can't see Linda allowing someone else to take over a role she had so much to do with creating. Ron Perlman has also said in interviews and at conventions that he couldn't play opposite anyone else as Catherine but Linda.

[...]

This movie, if it ever happens, will need to attract more than just fandom in order to be successful. The suits, and Ron Koslow, are going to have to keep this in mind, because the bottom line is money, and they would be stupid to do a movie without her.

So I don't worry about there being a movie without Linda, because I just don't think it will happen that way. [25]

[June/July 1991]: A very good friend of mine recently compared this fandom's waiting for a movie to what occurred in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. People seemed to be compelled to follow a dream or vision of something wonderful, but as the movie progressed, those less strong in belief dropped off one by one. The few who stuck it out received a beautiful reward. I'm hoping that this will be the way it will happen for us. [Keep your] "eyes on the prize." Hopefully, there will be a prize in not-too-distant future for us all.[26]

[June/July 1991]:

I've watched the videotape of Linda Hamilton on The Larry King Live show, 6/27/91, over and over. I've transcribed it for my newsletter. For those of you who didn't see it or haven't heard about it (there MAY be one or two of you who've been vacationing in Outer Mongolia), in reply to the question (paraphrased) "Would you do Beauty and the Beast again?" Linda replied, "No! No, I've finished with it and it would be going backwards for me. It was a very wonderful time, but, you know, that part of me is finished and I'd like to do other things. There's too much else to do than to go backwards, you know."

Yeah, I know, Linda. Best of luck to you in your future career. Don't worry about us, wallowing herein the past, clinging to a romantic fantasy. Backward of us, really. Silly and selfish of us to think there might remain depths to plumb in the character of "Catherine," or that the role holds more than a backseat in your heart. (Oops! Now where did that sarcastic little toad come from? It just slipped out!) So ... how's everyone feeling about this?

DENIAL: The question was ambiguous. A B&TB MOVIE wasn't specifically mentioned. Maybe she only meant she wouldn't do a revival of the SERIES.

ANGER: (I've spent A LOT of time in this phase.) She doesn't give a rat's rear end for B&TB, the Dream, or the Fans! May Hollywood forget she exists so she'll be BEGGING to do a B&TB movie!

BARGAINING: No matter what she SAID, she'll do the movie if she's offered enough MONEY.

DEPRESSION: It's all over. There won't be a Movie. The Dream died with "Catherine." Gimme a box of Kleenex, a box of chocolates, and let's see what's on Star Trek tonight.

ACCEPTANCE: This is where I am now. In fact, it's back where I was before June 27th- Maybe there will be a B&TB Movie, and maybe there won't. Maybe it will be Beauty and the Beast with the "Beauty" personified by the beauty in Vincent's soul and his memories of Catherine. Maybe the beauty will be in his love for their son. Maybe it will be another woman who's willing to accept second best, second place, in Vincent's heart. [27]

[July 1991]: George R.R. Martin was a guest at the Archon Convention in St. Louis, MO on July 12, 13 & 14. During an informal discussion in the (appropriately enough) St. George room, George answered many questions concerning the upcoming B&B movie. He told us that he met with Koslow, Gordon and Ganza at a very informal dinner meeting to discuss the movie script. There is nothing concrete right now on the movie. He mentioned that Mr. Koslow doesn't think he'll get the financial backing as easily if Linda isn't in it and he wanted to meet with her about doing the movie. George was under the impression that Mr. Koslow didn't know about Linda's feelings on doing the movie because at that point he was still talking about meeting with her agent.[28]

[August 1991]:

After a month of turmoil, fandom seems almost "hushed" now — everyone is waiting, regrouping, considering what they want for the present and future of B&TB. And, as with everything else in this fandom, we are all reaching very different conclusions. Is that surprising? Not to me, it isn't. One thing I am sure of: this fandom will never be united in its goals. Well, that's not quite true -- I think everyone wants "a movie." What fans won't unite on is what each person is willing to "give up" to get that hypothetical movie; what each fan requires to support an effort for such a movie; WHY each fan wants or "needs" such a movie. And it all goes back to what each of us loved about B&TB in the first place.

I loved Catherine Chandler. I loved Vincent, too, and above all, I loved their love for each other. In the role of Catherine, I love (and still love) Linda Hamilton. The inescapable "requirements" for "my" version of that hypothetical movie are these: Linda Hamilton as Catherine, and Catherine and Vincent reunited. Put simply, nothing else interests me. I don't, however, have the slightest expectation that everyone, or even MOST fans, will agree with me. I only ask that they respect and not belittle my choice, and understand why I won't fight to get "any movie." [29]

[August 1991]:

I do think it's true [Linda Hamilton] doesn't understand fandom. I think she really CAN'T understand how people could be so attached to fictional characters. From her point of view, it's unhealthy to rely so heavily on the return of those characters. I can understand all that. I may wish she'd been a bit more diplomatic, but no, I wasn't offended by anything she said once I had a chance to think about it. Even there I can find reasons for her behavior — she's probably highly annoyed at the constant harping on B&TB when she's trying to promote her new movie; she views B&TB as the past, and wants to get on with her life; perhaps there's been some behind-the-scenes pressure we know NOTHING about, etc., etc. One friend even proposed a theory (and I think it has a lot behind it), that Linda, who throws herself into her roles, was still in her "Sarah Connor" mode! And on TV shows ifs so easy to make off-the-cuff remarks. But she's right in one sense — there are some truly obsessed people in this fandom who live for B&TB alone, to the point of becoming hostile and off balance if they see "their show" threatened, and I can see how it would be very hard for her to understand such people.

[...]

Many classic fans feel Linda "owes" us the movie. Why? She never signed a contract with fandom. It was she who fought for what WE (or most of us) wanted to see on the show. SHE wanted what WE wanted. She did her best. That's all we can ask of her. We have no right to expect anything else, as individual fans or as a group.[30]

A movie may not be forthcoming this year or even next year. But that doesn't mean it won't eventually arrive and be everything we all hope it would be.

[...]

I will not be devastated if there is no movie, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to it. And if it doesn't come, I still have zines, those that exist and those yet to come. And I will have my friends that this fandom has given me, and the possible new ones I could make as this fandom grows. And I hope it will grow. As syndication grows this year, I anticipate that fandom can too.[31]

[August 1991]: I hope Linda will be in the B&TB movie if it is ever out. In my juvenile mind I hope it is the TV series Linda will have nothing to do with. There will only be one way to find out. When we get our movie![32]

1994

[July 1994] Gwen Lord (Roy Dotrice fan club in England) then made a surprise announcement that Roy had told her three weeks earlier that he had heard from "reliable sources" that a Beauty and the Beast movie was in production! Then silence. It was so strange. [33]

[October 1994]: Has anyone heard that Linda is after the role of the first ever female Star Trek captain in the new series "Voyager". I think it's very unlikely we would ever get our beloved movie if she were to get the part. A Star Trek series takes a long time in the making, leaving very little time for her to do something she's not too keen on, but, us true beasty fans will never give up hope. [34]

[December 1994]:

I would like to express my hope that the fans will learn to tolerate each other better. Our feelings are strong and personal, but our strength is in our numbers, and we shouldn't alienate or belittle each other because of differing viewpoints. The important thing is that we found something in the show that touched us deeply - for whatever reason - and we should be grateful for the changes B&B has brought about in our lives. The more fans there are, the greater the chance of getting a movie.

Speaking of THE MOVIE, there's been absolutely no news for the longest time. Wasn't it three years ago that Ron Koslow said he had an outline? Maybe it's time to start writing letters again to Koslow, Blockbuster, Spelling, etc.[35]

[December 1994]: Speaking of THE MOVIE, there's been absolutely no news for the longest time. Wasn't it three years ago that Ron Koslow said he had an outline? Maybe it's time to start writing letters again to Koslow, Blockbuster, Spelling, etc. Short letters expressing interest in a movie and how much we miss the show might best serve our cause. If we write long letters about what we want in the movie, what we don't, who we want to see in it, and who we don't, it might get them so annoyed that they'll scrap the project altogether. Ron Perlman definitely needs the work and deserves a role worthy of his talents. (Have you seen the dogs he's been in lately? What a waste!) Sometimes I think the fans and the actors are the only ones who care, and the writers, producers et al are off doing other projects and have lost interest in doing a movie. What is Ron Koslow doing these days anyway? [36]

[December 1994]: Send a Different Kind of Valentine's Day Card to Witt-Thomas: Many B&B organizations, including Helpers' Network and the New England B&B Hotline, have combined to encourage fans to write Witt-Thomas Productions, the originators of B&B (as an executive of Republic recently reminded us, encouraging us to write!) centered on the day for celebrating romance, Valentine's Day. Besides, it's their turn: we haven't sent them letters since the pledge drive, which some of you are too new in the fandom even to know about. While knowing perfectly well that everybody's going to do exactly what they want, because they always DO, here's what Nan would like you to do. Starting the 1st of February, write a letter a day until Valentine's day. Then STOP. (Poor Marcia Basichis at Spelling is still getting letters, Nan hears!) A letter a day for two weeks should make the point we want to make without persecuting and annoying people we want to be our friends and kindly disposed toward us. Second, keep the letter short and to the point. Say Thanks for bringing us Beauty and the Beast in the first place, and I WANT A MOVIE! If you feel compelled to explain exactly what kind of movie you want and why, there's nothing Nan can do but try to discourage you with the well known fact that these letters are seldom, if ever, read. What Nan's after is volume--fourteen letters from everybody--not a long explanation, in a lone letter, of everything B&B has come to mean to each and every fan. Emote some other time. Nan asks most earnestly, if you want a movie at all, say so...and leave it at that. Please be brief. Use postcards, even! Long letters serve no purpose and confuse the issue. The address is Tony Thomas, Witt-Thomas Productions, 1438 N. Gower Street., Building 35, 4th Floor, Hollywood CA 90028. Thanks to helper Lisa Howard, news about the letter campaign will be going out over the Internet, but in this scattered fandom, everybody's help is needed in spreading the word. Let everybody you're in contact with know about this newest letter-writing campaign, especially those you think are less likely to hear about it by other means. Let's really give Witt-Thomas some major mail here, because it's Nan's unprovable theory that, now that all the corporate pieces are in place from Viacom, through Paramount, through Blockbuster and Spelling, on down to Republic, we have a better chance of getting something started on a movie this year than we ever have before. Just say she feels it in her bones. The dream is alive and well and getting closer. So write, people! [37]

[winter 1994]: We in the fandom are in the doldrums at the moment, nothing new is being produced. Ron Koslow's promise is a comfort, but also a worry. How long will it take for the Disney 'Beauty and the Beast' to "die down"? It's in the cinemas now in the UK, and out on video in the USA. Next year, the video will come out here - one more year wasted. Now the count since production ceased, has gone up to three years, come the video, it will be four. Why couldn't the film have been made for release this year? It is different. There have been three aspects on the Columbus story this year, not to mention two Robin Hoods last year! But that didn't stop the film companies going ahead. To my mind, there is no comparison between a cartoon fairy tale and a live action drama. You may as well compare the animated "Romeo and Juliet", to "West Side Story". [38]

1995

[February 1995]: I know some of you feel let down with no news of the movie, but we can't give up on them, we still have to keep writing and supporting. The reward for our efforts will be what we are all praying for. [39]

[April 1995]: Team work is VITAL because one day, when our long battle is over and we have our movie, it will truly be a joint effort, by every single one of us throughout the length and breadth of fandom. [40]

[June 1995] We all desire a movie and I can understand your concern, but, hard as it sounds, I believe we will only have one if the powers that be decide it will make money. [41]

[August 1995]: An informal discussion [I had at The Distant Shore Convention held in LA USA in July '95] with the two heads of Republic Pictures, Robert W. Sigman, (President) and Tom Szwak (Senior Vice-President) meant that it was possible to put forward, at last, our hopes, dreams and support for the movie and further video releases. They listened and were impressed. It is really good to know that I have their promise that a contact with them has now been established. It would appear that a movie or two does now sound to be very much in the air. [42]

[October 1995]:

We have heard on the Hollywood jungle drums, that Republic Pictures are very interested in B&B TV movies. The burning question is whether we the fans would accept a Catherine replacement if Linda chose not to accept the part. Like you, when I heard this, I had to sit down and really work it out. I'd gone over it in my mind so many times before, but here I was, needing to give a straight answer. With so much money involved in a project of this magnitude. Republic cannot afford to find that we are all talk and no action. In 1989 when I first watched this mystical programme, I never thought for a moment that it would capture my heart the way it did.

[personal info redacted]

My grief was total and nobody seemed able to help or give me the comfort I needed so desperately. It wasn't until I watched "Orphans" in 1990, when Vincent's words worked pure magic for me and helped me come to terms with my own tragedy. I felt, and still do, such a debt of gratitude to this programme and Ron Koslow that I decided to do all I could to save B&B when it was going to be axed, and all these years since I have tried and will go on trying to do all I can on behalf of the fans of this beautiful show of ours.

Now this is the question we are being asked by Republic, will we support a movie if Linda Hamilton cannot play "Catherine" and they have to recast the role? Thus far, the format for the mini-series will have the first hour reviving Catherine and explaining it, and the second hour will proceed to a story. Catherine will be featured'. I want Linda for this part, she is Catherine! But should she turn it down, I will respect her decision and, only then, would I vote that we accept a replacement, so all we have worked so hard for over the years, isn't lost for ever.

Let's go all out for this 'MIRACLE' we are being offered new B&B at last and support Republic to the hilt. To Linda Hamilton, wherever you are, please know this... We want you in this role. But if you cannot do this, then please know how much we want you, as you have never shone so brightly as a star, as when you were Catherine Chandler. [43]

1996

[February 1996]: I am becoming more and more uncertain about the effects of a movie on fandom if it is only going to deepen the rift in this family and destroy dreams...mine or anyone else's. ...I don't NEED a movie. What I need are more people with fertile, loving minds who see our characters (ALL of them) in all their possibilities. THAT is what keeps the dream alive. Not a movie..... [44]

[February 1996]: My take on the 'movie' (yet again I'm sharing...) is that I would prefer if the entire 3rd season were a dream/premonition that Vincent had while he was unconscious in the cave. Then, as events unfolded, he could take the proper steps to save Catherine and the Tunnelworld.[45]

[February 1996]: I, for one, hate the idea of a second season movie. I had rather third season than that. A second season movie insults my intelligence. By its very existence it tells me that the third season did occur and that it did not have a happy ending. Yet, I am expected to ignore that and enjoy - knowing what lies ahead. [46]

[March/June 1996]:

In late June, Robyn Tsuboi, the marketing manager for B&B at Republic, was kind enough to return Nan's calls -- a most unusual courtesy. The news Robyn gave Nan wasn't awful, but it wasn't good, either, and far less than Nan had hoped for. The B&B miniseries Republic president Robert Sigman and Ron Koslow jointly announced at last summer's convention is still on hold: "being researched" is the phrase used. Further, there's no specific date when it will be reconsidered. However, Robyn assured Nan that Mr. Sigman is still very interested in the project, so the idea of some kind of movie hasn't vanished, either. For at least the rest of this year, and possibly next year, for all we know, the movie is more or less back where it was: an idea in the back of the minds of Ron Koslow and Mr. Sigman.

A little background: Only Republic can make a picture. They own the rights. Ron Koslow has only the first right of refusal, meaning that if Republic decides to do a movie, they have to give Koslow first crack at writing the script. If for whatever reason he couldn't or didn't want to, then they could go to anybody they chose to write the script. The first move has to be Republic's. Second, the fandom, by itself, isn't enough to make any movie viable. At full strength, the viewership for B&B was estimated at 13 million. The people involved in fandom were less than half that, but lets call it 7 million at its best. If only the fandom watched any theatrical or TV movie, it wouldn't make back its costs. We're a core audience, but only that. Republic has to know they can attract at least double or triple that number of viewers through re-syndicating the movie afterward: that is, lining up other stations and perhaps networks in other countries willing to sign up and pay for the privilege of airing it, further down the line. Without the assurance of such later sales, the movie won't even be begun. That's partly what "researching" means: trying to line up additional buyers. The fact that no movie has been made at this point strongly suggests that Republic hasn't been able to line up enough aftermarkets to be sure of recouping the movie's costs, much less making a profit. Until this and possibly other problems are resolved, there will be no movie.

While we're important...but not THAT important. It's not that we don't love the series enough. It's not that Republic doesn't know we're here, and that we want more B&B with a most sincere and dedicated passion. It's just that the fandom, all by ourselves, aren't enough to make a movie successful. That's a fact, and we're better off facing the thing as it is, not as we wish it were. To be blunt, with the exception of the mass-market B&B videos, every licensee and retailer who's produced something and sold it primarily or exclusively to the fandom -- whether we're talking "graphic novels," licensed paperbacks, models, calendars, whatever -- has either hastily abandoned the effort or gone broke or bankrupt for their pains. We're not enough of a commercial market to keep a product afloat, unless the retailer can reach the wider market beyond the fandom. That, too, is a fact, and those who've been in the fandom awhile and seen it all happen, again and again and again, know it it's true. It's important that we're still here, and Republic knows we are -- without that, there'd be no chance of a movie at all. All the letters and postcards aren't wasted. We need to remind them from time to time that this fanatic core still exists, and therefore the more casual likers of the show are still out there too, in even greater numbers. But let's not make the mistake of assuming the fandom is all that counts in terms of getting a movie made, because that just isn't so. [47]

1997

[February 1997]: This is the second day of 1997, and I find myself wondering what this year will bring: Will it, I wonder, give us the movie we long for so much? Will it bring our beloved show back to our screens, once more? One thing is for certain, [Vincent Wells] may have left our screens, but he stays strongly and permanently in our hearts. [48]

[June 1997]: Do we pull together and make a supreme effort to keep our dream alive for a while longer? We all know that many people have moved on to pastures now, as so often happens in fandoms, especially when all our hopes of a movie or mini series have so far come to nothing. But even if, and I stress the IF, because I am an optimist and so I shall continue to harbour my hopes and dreams, but IF we never do get our movie, nothing can take away the 56 episodes we already have, or the wonderful friendships we have made through this series. Many fandoms go on surviving happily for many years on what they already have. The series 'Blake Seven' ended years before B&B was even thought about yet their fandom still exists, and what about Elvis Presley's fan club or Marilyn Monroe's? [49]

[August 1997]: Now some of us (not me!) would like to have a film where they continue the third season and others (like I) hate that idea and say that there can be no B&B without Catherine, and that she has to be a part of the movie. This isn't a good situation if we want our movie, so yes, it would have been easier if Vincent and Catherine had found their happy life, it would be easier for the producers to give us our film (although I can imagine that some of you won't agree to this). [50]

1998

[February 1998]: This is an ideal time to get fresh video copies for the years ahead. Most important of all is, that now is the time to get your pens and paper out and write to Republic requesting those long over due tv movies. [...] Tell them that there is a great demand for new episodes here in the United Kingdom. Tell them that this petition has been organized by Helpers Network U.K. We must write positive, tell them that we have been waiting a long time, that the number of fans around the world is increasing, and wants new episodes. This I am sure will help us up another rung of the ladder towards new episodes of our wonderful show. [51]

[April 1998]: The advice we took in this fandom to get B&B on reruns [in the UK] was from a visiting B&B guest, Christopher Toyne, at the A Moment In Time B&B Convention May 1997 [52]. Christopher was a key figure in the making of all 1st season and a lot of 2nd season B&B. His advice to get Republic interested in giving us our much longed for T.V. Movies, was first to get the series on reruns. Then, the fans to write to Republic, telling them of our tremendous success, brought about by our petition.... please make sure this man gets the message in your brief one page letter. Our T.V. movie depends on this surge of mail to Republic. Please pull out all the stops to help 'Keep Our Dream Alive'! [53]

1999

It may not be the perfect answer, but this story as I realised half way through writing it, would I think solve some of the problems inherent in bringing the story back to the screen. The balance between Above and Below. The closeness yet distance between Vincent and Catherine and the years that have passed that have no doubt gracefully aged the actors and stretched the younger members into adulthood. [54]

1992: Comments by George R.R. Martin

[The movie] may depend on the fans, you know. Look bow long it was for the Star Trek movie. What convinced them to do the movie? There were two phenomena: one was the success of Star Wars, which was completely unconnected, but Paramount just said 'wait a minute, this thing made all that money, maybe we should do something like that, too. Oh, look, we have these old dusty characters over here...oh, look, these fans have been talking about them for 20 years....If B&B fandom continues to continue and to grow....to exist as a phenomenon, the more it does, the more it gives credence to the idea that there might be a market. If the fandom steadily diminishes and in two or three years from now it hardly exists anymore, or its on a level with... there's a fandom for every show on television, but most of them are minuscule....if it shrinks to that level, then probably there won't be a movie. [55]

1995: Comments by George R.R. Martin

In January 1995, George R.R. Martin, one of the show's writers, addressed the topic of the movie:

My understanding is that Witt-Thomas Productions controls only the _television_ rights to BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. If this is true, a letter-writing campaign intended to convince them to make a theatrical motion picture of B&B would be a total waste of time and effort for all concerned. Witt-Thomas could presumably make a TV movie if they choose, or revive the series in some form for basic cable or first-run syndie, but they cannot make a feature film no much how much mail they get.

The theatrical motion picture rights are, I believe, controlled by Ron Koslow and Republic Pictures. Republic was bought out by Aaron Spelling, I think, and then Spelling was bought out by Blockbuster, and Blockbuster may have been bought out by somebody... so I’m not really sure who could make a movie this week, but it’s not Republic.

On a practical level, the true key factors here are:

1) Ron Koslow,

2) Linda Hamilton

3) the Catherine Controversy.

My perception is that financing a movie (always the big hurdle) would be easy, given B&B’s proven appeal, if Republic was given a strong script and a commitment from the series stars to reprise their roles. The problem is, given the fate of the third season, that commitment would need to include Linda. Linda has said she will never play Catherine Chandler again, as all of you are well aware. Perhaps she might change her mind if she was given a script she liked with a big juicy part for Catherine and a guarantee of a hefty number of millions of others (what is called a “pay or play” commitment in H’wood), but she is unlikely to give any kind of indication of interest without a script or a deal on the table. No studio will _put_ a deal on the table without a script. So it all comes back to Ron. His problem is, well, say it takes him six months to a year to write the script (a reasonable estimate), and he’s doing it on spec, that is, without pay. So he writes a Catherine script, but then Linda reads it and says no, the studio says no movie, and Ron has wasted a year doing work for which he will never be paid. That’s the roadblock.

I would hate to plunge all Beastdom into war again, but I’ll tell you the truth as I perceive it. If a letter-writing campaign is to do any good at all, the letters will need to say what _kind_ of B&B film the fans would be willing to support:

(1) only a “classic” Vincent/Catherine story, starring Ron and Linda, (2) a Vincent/Catherine story with Ron, but with another actress as Catherine if necessary, or, (3) a Vincent/Diana film with Ron and Jo.

Quite frankly, if what most fans want is (1) and only (1), accept no substitutes, I do not think there will ever be a B&B movie.

If enough people write to convince Republic that a (2) or a (3) would be sufficiently supported by the fans so as to make money, I think the chances of a movie are much, much better. [56]

References

  1. ^ see Pipeline v.4 n.8/9
  2. ^ from Pipeline (v.3 n.4/5, Apr/May 1990)
  3. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.4
  4. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.4
  5. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.4
  6. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #23
  7. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.5
  8. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.7
  9. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.9
  10. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.9
  11. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.10
  12. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.11
  13. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.11
  14. ^ from Tunneltalk v.1 n.12
  15. ^ from Tunneltalk February 1991
  16. ^ from Tunneltalk February 1991
  17. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.1
  18. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.1
  19. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.2
  20. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.2
  21. ^ from "Beastly Doings In the Works" by columnist Marilyn Beck of New York's Dally News as quoted in "Pipeline" v.4 n.4/5 (April/May 1991)
  22. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.3
  23. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.3
  24. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.4/5
  25. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.4/5
  26. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.4/5
  27. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.4/5
  28. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #33
  29. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.6
  30. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.6
  31. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.6
  32. ^ from Tunneltalk v.2 n.6
  33. ^ from Of Love and Hope #1 (1994)
  34. ^ from Chatterbox #10
  35. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #55
  36. ^ from Once Upon a Time... Is Now #55
  37. ^ from The Helpers' Network Gazette (December 1994)
  38. ^ from The Spiral Staircase #9
  39. ^ from Chatterbox #11
  40. ^ from Chatterbox 1A
  41. ^ from Chatterbox 2A
  42. ^ from Chatterbox 3A
  43. ^ from Chatterbox 3A
  44. ^ from Of Love and Hope #3
  45. ^ from Of Love and Hope #3
  46. ^ from Of Love and Hope #3
  47. ^ from The Helpers' Network Gazette (March/June 1996)
  48. ^ from Chatterbox 6B
  49. ^ from Chatterbox 2C
  50. ^ from Chatterbox 3C
  51. ^ from Chatterbox (February 1998)
  52. ^ The con did not take place in May, but in August.
  53. ^ from Chatterbox (April 1998)
  54. ^ from The Ashes of Disaster
  55. ^ from Lionheart Exclusive Interview: George R.R. Martin
  56. ^ from GRRM Discussion Posts 1993 to 1995 (Sat Jan 14, 1995)