It's strange how I can go years without caring about a certain story/legend and then suddenly become wildly interested in it. I was never interested in Beauty and the Beast, either, and I've finished a novel and a short story based on the theme in the past year.
I think Beauty and the Beast finally grabbed me because I realized I didn't understand how to write romance. I set out to learn, and my first step was choosing what I considered the most important parts of love. Trust and respect were my answers--and Beauty and the Beast is a perfect arena for watching those unfold before love finally takes the stage. As far as The Flying Dutchman goes, I don't have any idea why it's suddenly cool. It just is.
What popular stories/legends/fairy tales have you found sudden appeal in? Why?