Fans at Disney’s biannual D23 event were in for a treat Saturday when Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures president, Sean Bailey, presented a long list of Disney’s upcoming live action films.
Among the announcements was a first look at 2017’s adaptation of the beloved classic “Beauty and the Beast,” which will star Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) as Prince Adam / the Beast.
According to MTV, a glimpse of Emma Watson as Belle was shown to fans in attendance.
Since then, an image of Watson in Belle’s iconic golden gown has appeared online.
You may have seen the image that’s making the rounds:
It started picking up after the image was tweeted out by Twitter user Mariah Moon (@thesimpleparent) with the D23 event hashtag #D23Expo:
There’s just one problem.
No image of Watson was ever released by the studio.
Though Moon noted the image tweeted was believed to be a fan compilation, that didn’t stop many from believing it was an official image released by the studio.
A photo posted by Ellen (@theellenshow) on Aug 17, 2015 at 2:19pm PDT
However, the image circulating online was made six months ago by artist Prateek Mathur.
Here’s one of the full images made by Mathur.
Mathur, whose work can be found on his website here, has worked on visual effects on films including “Men in Black 3” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” the latter is a film in which Watson starred.
In an email to Tech Insider, Mathur says he started work on his own concept art of the actress in Belle’s iconic yellow gown around February 12 after learning Watson was officially cast in the role of Belle in Disney’s live-action adaptation.
“I am a huge fan of Disney, so when I [learned] about the live action movie, I [went] straight into Photoshop and designed this concept art,” Mathur tells Tech Insider.
The finished image of Watson as Belle is a composite of several different images of the actress blended together with the Disney dress. Mathur says the concept fan art took about 5-7 hours in a row to complete.
Mathur uploaded a behind-the-scenes video to Vimeo showing how he created the fan poster for the 2016 movie.
Here’s how it came together.
The look for Emma’s face came from one photo:
Touchups were made to her hair and face.
A golden dress reminiscent of Belle’s iconic gown was added.
In fact, the actual character was used to create the fan art as well.
Next, this image of Watson was used for her neck and shoulders.
Her arms were then taken from this photo of Watson posing for her role in the “Harry Potter” movies and were mirrored to get them just right.
The Beast’s iconic rose was then added.
A custom background was made in which to place Watson.
Revisions were made to Watson’s hair and dress …
And the vision was complete.
Mathur says he has received a lot of fan feedback after making the image, and that he’s planning to work on a new version of Watson as the Disney princess.
“It was beyond my expectation,” said Mathur of the response to the image. “There was several mistakes which real fans of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ shared with me and I really appreciate their feedback. Moreover, I am looking to develop a new piece of artwork based on that feedback.”
You can watch the making of his “Beauty and the Beast” fan poster below: