Beauty And The Beast release date in Malaysia postponed for 'internal review'

Malaysians express disappointment after the release of the film Beauty and the Beast, which was cleared by censors after a 'gay moment' was cut, is postponed by major cinema chains due to 'unforeseen circumstances'.VIDEO: REUTERS
Cinema still of movie Beauty And The Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.
Cinema still of movie Beauty And The Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. PHOTO: WALT DISNEY PICTURES

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian release date for the highly anticipated Disney film Beauty And The Beast, which has garnered some controversy overseas for including a gay character, has been postponed indefinitely.

The movie's opening date in Malaysia, originally March 16, has been postponed due to an "internal review", film distributor The Walt Disney Co (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd said in an e-mail.

No further reason for the postponement was given, and there was no indication of what the new release date would be.

A Disney spokesman declined to comment further when contacted by Malaysia's The Star newspaper on Monday.

At the time of writing, the movie has been taken down from the showtime listings at the country's major cinema chains.

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, United States, 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.