Thursday, March 5, 2015

Casting: Disney's Live Action "Beauty and the Beast" Closes In On Finalizing Mains

Fan art poster for the upcoming movie by Prateek Mathur
(lovely speed-motion "making of" video at link)
The Downtown Abbey cast must be on high alert for Disney reps, now that a second cast member of theirs, Dan Stevens, has nabbed a starring role in a Disney live action fairy tale. Stevens will be Emma Watson's Beast (confirmed by both Disney and Stevens less than 24 hours ago).

His nemesis, Gaston, will (likely) be played by Luke Evans, star of Dracula Untold and also from The Hobbit. (Evans is in talks but as yet unconfirmed.)

Here's a little extra from Screenrant on the actors just cast and where you might have seen them before:
Stevens, in the years since he played would-be Downton Abbey heir Matthew Crawley, has found his niche as a character actor. His resume now including solid supporting turns in such films as The Fifth Estate and A Walk Among the Tombstones, as well as a memorable lead performance as a mysterious military vet in last year’s action/thriller throwback The Guest – and, most recently, a scene-stealing comedic appearance as Sir Lancelot in Night at the Museum: Tomb of the Emperor. 
...Evans is up to play the film’s villain Gaston: a brawny and vain hunter who, concerned solely with her attractive appearance, becomes determined to make Belle his wife. The most recent script draft for the Beauty and the Beast live-action feature was penned by Stephen Chbosky, who also directed Watson in the film adaptation of his own novel,The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Calling the shots here, however, is one Oscar-winner Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) – who, as it were, previously teamed with Stevens on Fifth Estate (the 2013 Julian Assange memoir). 
Condon wins Best Adapted Screenplay for
"God and Monsters"
Both Condon and Watson previously indicated that the plan is to carry over Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s songs from the 1991 Disney animated Beauty and the Beast feature into the live-action version – with Condon having told EW that modern filmmaking tech will allow them “to bring that brilliant, amazing score and beautiful story into three dimensions.” One just wonders if any of the original tunes from the Broadway musical adaptation will also make the cut. It could be fun to watch Stevens perform a number like “If I Can’t Love Her”, after all.

So, at a glance, the movie cast will look a little like this (though it should be remembered that Beast is a beast for most of the film - at least, in the animated one and there's no news yet on just how that will be handled):

 Belle: Emma Watson - confirmed
 The Beast: Dan Stevens - confirmed
 Gaston: Luke Evans - in talks (TBC)
 Mrs. Potts: Emma Thompson - in talks (TBC)
Quite the gorgeous British collection so far, don't you think?

Beauty and the Beast begins filming later in 2015 with the vague chance of a late 2016 release, but more likely to hit theaters in 2017.


  1. Actually the Gaston role was confirmed and he is the actor shown above. Such a shame we have to wait a long time for this movie!

    1. Yes it was - just not at the time of this post. :) I've been waiting for a little more news about casting before posting on the movie again (yes, there have been a few additions since but I've been hoping we'd at least get news on Cogsworth and Lumiere before doing a cast update). The movie was confirmed to being released March 17, 2017, which isn' such a long wait considering all that needs to be done. I'll update with more news on the movie soon.

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