Casting Update: Dan Stevens Joins Emma Watson and Luke Evans In Disney’s Live-Action remake of ‘Beauty and The Beast’
By Sarah Jayne Alexander
The Brits are taking over! Following initial reports yesterday evening concerning Luke Evans joining the cast of Disney Studios’ new live-action remake of their cult classic ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as villain and village hero ‘Gaston’, it has been revealed today via The Hollywood Reporter that British ‘Night at the Museum 3’ star–Dan Stevens will join Emma Watson-who is set to play Belle-as the cursed Prince turned Beast.
The role will be Steven’s (to date) fourth major feature film role in 12 months following his lead in 2014’s thriller ‘The Guest’ , 2015’s ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ in which he co-starred as Sir Lancelot and a supporting role opposite Liam Neeson in ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’. You may also recognise him from British award winning drama ‘Downton Abbey’ in which he portrayed ‘Matthew Crawley’ .
Following Disney’s current cinematic renaissance in live-action takes on their classic animated films including Maleficent, Cinderella, Into The Woods and soon to be released ‘Cinderella’ , all of which have generated significant takings–Maleficent alone generated $758.4 million worldwide -at the box office and turned out to be huge successes amongst cinema goers, it seems now is as good a time as any for a modern take on the 1991 release (yes, it really is THAT old)
For anyone who doesn’t know the plot (and you are definitely in a minority) La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and The Beast) is a traditional fairy tale written by French novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and was published in 1756. There have been a number of variations across a variety of platforms over the past 400+ years since with Disney’s animated classic being arguably the most recognised and well loved adaptation.
The story tells the tale of a young woman who offers to take her father’s place as a prisoner in an enchanted/cursed castle, where not everything is as it seems, only to fall in love with the creature, who turns out to be a prince. There are, of course, the odd few characters and mishaps along the way, including the local hero and all round heartthrob ‘Gaston’ who fancies Belle for himself but is, kindly put, not the brightest bulb in the box. The staff in the castle in the animated version have been frozen in time and turned into household items which resemble their human names and forms- ‘Lumière’ the French candlestick, ‘Cogsworth’ the clock, ‘Mrs Potts’ the teapot and her son ‘Chip’ a chipped teacup. It is unclear if that will transcend into the live-action version or whether they will be represented in another way.
The musical aspect is likely to remain as Emma Watson took to twitter in January after her casting was announced stating “It was such a big part of my growing up,” Emma Watson said of the original animation. “It almost feels surreal that I’ll get to dance to ‘Be Our Guest’ and sing ‘Something There.’ … Time to start some singing lessons.” It also means Luke Evans will get his moment in the spotlight as there is an entire section of the film dedicated to a song about his character ‘Gaston’
Bill Condon (The Others, The Fifth Estate, Mr.Homes) is directing what is turning out so far to be an all-British production while David Hoberman (Nightmare Before Christmas, The Muppets) and Todd Lieberman (Memento/ American Pie) are producing.
There has been no official release date but as always, SFF will keep you up to date with developments as and when details become available.