The movie focuses on a guy named Kyle Kingson who is obsessed with his own vanity. Prone to mocking the ugly and unattractive outsiders, a witch casts a spell on him, making him an ugly monster as he is inside. The only way he can break free of the spell is if he finds somebody to love in just a year. He then sets his eyes on Lindy Taylor, a gothic kid whom he knows will love him from the inside.
In writing the script, Barnz was inspired by the films Say Anything and Twilight, keeping the experiences of teenagers in mind while still basing the screenplay on the novel. He "immediately fell for it, because I saw that there was an amazing opportunity to tell a modern version of this fairytale and I loved the idea of it."Barnz remarked that he was happy to see the story told through the beast's perspective and that it focused more on the romance than the supernatural Say Anything and Twilight, keeping the experiences of teenagers in mind while still basing the screenplay on the novel. He "immediately fell for it, because I saw that there was an amazing opportunity to tell a modern version of this fairytale and I loved the idea of it."Barnz remarked that he was happy to see the story told through the beast's perspective and that it focused more on the romance than the supernatural.
Kyle Kingson has it all – looks, intelligence, wealth and opportunity – and a wicked cruel streak. Prone to mocking and humiliating “aggressively unattractive” classmates, he zeroes in on Goth classmate Kendra Hilferty, inviting her to the school’s extravagant environmental bash. Kendra accepts, and, true to form, Kyle blows her off in a particularly savage fashion. She retaliates by casting a spell that physically transforms him into everything he despises. Enraged by his horrible and unrecognizable appearance he confronts Kendra and learns that the only solution to the curse is to find someone that will love him as he is within one year – a task he considers impossible. Repulsed by his appearance, Kyle’s callous father banishes him to Brooklyn with a sympathetic housekeeper and blind tutor.
As Kyle ponders how to overcome the curse and get his old life back, he chances upon a drug addict in the act of killing a threatening dealer. Seizing the opportunity, Kyle promises the addict freedom and safety for his daughter, Lindy Taylor if she will consent to live in Kyle’s Brooklyn home. Thus begins Kyle’s journey to discover true love in this present-day retelling of the classic “Beauty and the Beast” story.
CastingEditVanessa Hudgens plays Lindy Taylor, the beauty of the story. Vannesa Hudgens was first informed on her involvement in the movie early April 2009, in which she remarked that she immediately fell in love with the character the moment she read Daniel Barnz's screenplay. Vanessa revealed that while filming, she had to keep fidgeting her hair to make it look messier and messier. She said, "On the first day of shooting, I would not stop fidgeting with my hair. I was trying to make it look messier and messier and messier and messier!"
Alex Pettyfer as Kyle Kingson, the main protagonist of the story. When casting, the produces were looking for a young teen actor with the vein of Robert Pattinson for the role of Kyle. It took some time before they found someone who could play Kyle, and Alex was cast in late April 2009. Pettyfer revealed that he had to gain 12-15 pounds of muscle for the role and had to shave his hair.
Mary-Kate Olsen plays Kendra Hilferty, a witch whom Kyle made fun of. Because of this, she casts a spell on Kyle, making him an ugly monster, and the only way he can break free of the spell is for he to find someone to love in just one year. Olsen was cast in early June, 12 days prior to filming.
Neil Patrick Harris as Will Fratalli, Kyle's blind tutor.Harris says "I'm the tutor that's hired to teach him things, and I'm blind. Therefore, I can't see his deformities." Other casts include Lisa Gay Hamilton as Kyle's maid, Peter Krause as Rob Kingson, Kyle's father, Roc LaFortune as Lindy's father, David Francis as Dr. Davis, Gio Perez as Victor, Dakota Johnson as Sloan Albert, and Erik Knudsen as Trey Madison.
Beastly is one of the first feature films to be produced and distributed by CBS films. It has a budget of $20 million for filming and marketing. Production began on June 13, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.and ended in August of the same year. The first clip of the official "Beastly" trailer was filmed in Chicago, shooting Walter Payton College Prep High School as Buckston Academy High School. Old Montreal and Laval were used as filming locations, as well as the Mount Royal Park in Montreal, which served as Central Park in New York and other outdoor locations. Local Montreal diner Place Milton is also featured as Cafe Santiago.
The Quebec government announced on June 12, 2009 that it was increasing its tax credit for foreign producers making films and TV shows here from 25 per cent of labour expenses to 25 per cent of the entire budget of productions shot here. Beastly was one of the film productions who chose to film in Montreal before the announcement of tax-paying increase.
Hudgens left for Montreal to film following the MTV Movie Awards. "I'm laid-back about it," she said. On June 4, 2009, Hudgens and Pettyfer arrived in Montreal. Neil Patrick Harris also went to Montreal to shoot his scenes, and at the same time, for his lead role in an independent film. Hudgens was the first to wrap shooting in order to promote the film Bandslam.
It ranked #45 in The Times' 50 Biggest Movies Of 2010. Hudgens and Pettyfer are honored as ShoWest stars of tomorrow for their roles in Beastly. The film was screened at the ShoWest and it drew enthusiastic reactions from the luncheon crowd of exhibition officials. It got a 75% "fresh" rating by the Rotten Tomatoes community.