Executive producers/Co-Showrunners/Co-Creators Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin sat down with reporters during San Diego Comic-Con to discuss their forthcoming show Beauty and the Beast for the CW. Cooper and Levin first met while working on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters. Prior to working on Brothers and Sisters, Levin was a writer for Chicago Hope and Felicity. Meanwhile, Canadian Cooper was working on the show Everwood.
It was the CW that approached the pair with the show title Beauty and the Beast. “Here’s the eighties show, you can recreate it, what do you think?” recounted Cooper of the network’s offer. The two pondered the premise for a while and then Cooper shared, “We could see the billboards. Who doesn’t want a guy with a little baggage? Who doesn’t want a bad boy? But then it got deeper, we started talking about ‘What’s a beauty? What’s a beast?’” The pair decided that they wanted to do a modern take on the classic fairytale and make it relevant to our times.
The show stars Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) as “beauty” Detective Catherine Chandler and New Zealand native Jay Ryan as “beast” Vincent Keller. Catherine is a homicide detective who, as a teenager, was witness to the murder of her mother. “It will be an over-arching quest to figure out what happened,” said Cooper of Catherine’s hunt for her mother’s killers. Levin added that their “template, if you will, would be X-Files.” For those of you too young to remember the glorious sci-fi wonder The X-Files, FBI Agent Fox Mulder (played by David Duchovny) was on a never-ending quest to find his missing sister, Samantha. It was omnipresent, but not the focus of the show.
During a homicide investigation, Catherine follows a clue that brings her to Vincent, who was reportedly killed while serving in Afghanistan ten years prior. He has been in hiding since and has a deep secret. Cooper and Levin spoke of casting Ryan as Vincent, “He was the first person we saw tape on.”
As for Kreuk, they had wanted her from the word go. After seeing clips of her as “Chun-Li” in Streetfighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Cooper thought, “She could hold her own as a female detective.”
Beauty and the Beast episodes will include featured music, as do most shows on the CW. Scoring the show’s theme song will be Mark Isham (Chicago Hope, Once Upon a Time).
When asked the big question: “Would you like try to get Linda Hamilton or Ron Perlman on the show?” the two gushed, “It would be amazing. Are you kidding?” Cooper then touted that they have three executive producers working on the new Beauty and the Beast who worked on the eighties version starring Hamilton and Perlman. They have dubbed them “The Three Wise Men.” Here’s hoping they can nab those cameos