There are not many details at this point, except that it will be penned by "Trance" writer Joe Ahearne, and it will be titled "The Beast." So yeah, we're figuring some kind of origin story thing or whatever. Of course, the the 1991 animated movie is an Oscar-winning classic, beloved by fans worldwide, so in Disney's eyes, it probably only makes sense to tap into that market and turn on the licensing/money machine again. So we'll have to see what direction this takes, and while Deadline posits that it could be a "darker" take given Ahearne's recent credits, that's a relative term -- the mouse house still won't go for anything beyond a PG is our guess.
So clearly, Disney has their game plan laid out for the next few years (besides superheroes and "Star Wars") -- take public domain and/or well known properties and build on that mythology all the way to the bank. And this won't be the only "Beauty And The Beast" tale coming, as Emma Watson has something brewing with Guillermo Del Toro (which may or may not shoot this summer), while overseas, a much more adult take is on the way courtesy of director Christoph Gans, with his picture starring Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux.