EXCLUSIVE: 6 Things You Didn't Know About the Live-Action 'Beauty and the Beast' Remake

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Nearly 26 years after the release of the beloved Disney animated film, Beauty and the Beast is returning to the big screen. This time around, however, the magic is live-action -- with a little help from CGI -- and while it’s a beloved story, some things about the ambitious remake might still surprise you!

Here’s a look at a few things you may not have known about the new take on the “tale as old as time.”

RELATED: Emma Watson Looks Like a Princess at 'Beauty and the Beast' Premiere With Co-Star Dan Stevens

1. 19th-Century France Almost Looked a Lot Like La La Land

Disney/Summit Entertainment

Emma Watson
, who stars as Belle, turned down Emma Stone’s Oscar-nominated role in La La Land to focus on Beauty and the Beast. Coincidentally, Stone’s co-star, Ryan Gosling, was considered for the part of the Beast, before it went to Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens. There’s a pun about “Le Fous who dream” in here somewhere.

2. A Beastly Before and After

Unlike the animated film, which only shows the Beast as a man once the spell has been broken, director Bill Condon’s rendition will also give a glimpse at Prince Adam before he was cursed.

Walt Disney Pictures

EXCLUSIVE: Celine Dion Opens Up About Singing New Song for 'Beauty and the Beast' 26 Years After the Original

3. No One Bites Like Gaston

star Luke Evans wore fake teeth to play smarmy hunter Gaston, while Josh Gad channeled his best sidekick antics (see: his beloved turn as Frozen snowman Olaf) to beloved to play his right hand man, Le Fou.

Walt Disney Studios

4. Famous Friends

Even the CGI cast of Beauty and the Beast is star-studded, with Emma Thompson portraying Mrs. Potts, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere and Audra McDonald as Garderobe the armoire. Here’s hoping we get to see a lot of them in person!

Walt Disney Pictures

PICS: 'Beauty and the Beast' Posters Highlight Lumiere, Cogsworth and (Of Course) Emma Watson's Belle

5. Recreating a Classic

The film went to great lengths to recreate iconic moments from the Disney movie, especially the beloved ballroom scene. In fact, the real-life version of Belle’s yellow dress took 12,000 hours to create!

Walt Disney Studios

“We wanted the dress to feel like it could float, like it could fly,” Watson explained. “It was almost like the third person in that dance.”

6. Stage Fright

Despite months of practice for the classic scene, Watson admitted she was still nervous to waltz with Stevens, who wore stilts to tower over her as the Beast.

“How do you do a three-minute Strictly Come Dancing-esque waltz routine with a Beast?” she explained. “I mean, he's like, three heads taller than me. It was really challenging.”

Walt Disney Studios

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Beauty and the Beast,
which also features three brand new songs, hits theaters on March 17.

See more about the film, including John Legend and Ariana Grande’s rendition of the iconic titular duet, in the video below.

WATCH: Ariana Grande and John Legend Debut ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Duet in New Film Trailer!