Beauty and the Beast will open in theaters this weekend. Emma Watson plays the lead role of Belle, a young girl in 19th century France who comes to live in the enchanted castle of the Beast (Dan Stevens). Watson is no stranger to enchanted castles, having grown up playing Hogwarts student Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series.
Some Harry Potter fans have already seen early showings of Beauty and the Beast and claim that early on there’s an Easter egg reference to the first Harry Potter film. Is it true, or are the Harry Potter fans seeing something that isn’t there?
The moment in question comes during the song “Belle.” During the number, Belle runs into a townsman named Monsieur Jean. Belle asks Jean if he’s forgotten something and Jean replies, “I believe I have. The problem, I can’t remember what!”
Fans have noticed that Jean’s line is similar to one of Neville Longbottom’s lines from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The line comes during a scene in the Great Hall of Hogwarts. Hermione notes that Neville has a Remembrall, saying, “I’ve read about those. When the smoke turns red, it means you’ve forgotten something,” to which Neville replies, “The only problem is I can’t remember what I’ve forgotten.”
However, director Bill Condon says this was never intended to be a reference to Harry Potter, and that the similarities in the lines are purely coincidental. In truth, the line is meant to show how the spell placed on the Beast’s castle by the Enchantress has affected the townspeople.
“I saw those rumors,” Condon tells Metro. “It wasn’t intentional. It really is just – at the beginning of the movie [The Enchantress] is narrating and she says ‘They were forgotten by the world and all the people who love them.’
“That’s just an example that pays off later. You always get the sense that [Mr. Potts] has forgotten something, but it’s something else he’s forgotten. So no.”
Sorry Harry Potter fans, this isn’t the Easter egg you were hoping for.
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In Beauty and the Beast, Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast's hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.
Beauty and the Beast is directed by Bill Condon and written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos, with music composed by Alan Menken. The film stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.
Beauty and the Beast opens March 17, 2017.