In fact there are! The films Panna a Netvor (The Virgin and the Monster -1978) and Kraska a Zvire ( Beauty and the Beast -1971) both seem to be based on the same script by František Hrubín. A number Czech of ballets, stage productions and puppet shows have also used his “unseen suitor” formula to great effect – if you search the blog archive for Kraska a Zvire you can find pictures from a few!
I doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to say that Hrubin took the basic structure of the French Beauty and The Beast and partnered it with the unseen suitor motif of Cupid and Psyche (also seen in The Scarlet Flower, and East of the Sun, West of the Moon) to create the basis for his play. Every adaptation since has really emphasized different aspects of it. Panna a Netvor is my favourite adaptation of Hrubin’s varient, because I like the Monster’s stuggle to balance tenderness and violence, and to overcome self loathing to accept the sweet faith Julie has in him.
I think a book adaptation could be done very well indeed, and were I not having my say about Beauties and Beasts in the webcomic, I might try my hand at it… I’d love to do a moody horror-tinged watercolour book with it…. *thoughtful sigh*. But if you’re consdiering writing something, you should go for it! Panna a Netvor is an amazing film, and if you wind up drawing more people to it, that’s great. Furthermore, if you can build an even stronger story on those ideas, we just have one more wonderufl beauty and the beast story to enjoy!
I do want to note that I’m not Czech and can’t read Czech and may have my dates and details wrong. If any of you Dear Readers know more than I do, your input would be appreciated!