Disney continues the financially successful trend of turning their animated classic films into live-action spectacles with casting one of their newest films. Maleficent was a big hit last year, Cinderella comes out next week, Jungle Book is set to come out in 2016, and the next big film is speedily moving ahead.
Beauty and the Beast is not only one of Disney’s most beloved films, but it’s also one of their most successful. It was the first animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and has a highly successful Broadway musical adaptation.
Talk of turning this film into live-action has been around for years and it’s finally happening. Weeks ago, the film found its lead in Emma Watson as Belle and, in just the past 24 hours, the cast has tripled.
The hunky and misogynistic villain, Gaston, will be played by Luke Evans, who we most recently saw in Dracula Untold and the last two Hobbit films as Bard. He certainly has the look to pull it off, and, luckily, the singing chops!
While none of Disney’s previous live-action adaptations have been musicals, Emma Watson indicated she would be singing when she first announced the news. Plus, Evans started on the West End before coming to movies so he seems to be a great choice.Belle’s love interest, the Beast, has also been cast. Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens will play the unnamed prince who gets turned into a Beast due to his poor attitude. Stevens proved his acting range with The Guest as well as his cartoonish charm and bravado in Night at the Museum: Tomb of the Emperor so I think he’ll be wonderful.
I don’t know if Stevens has any singing history but luckily Beast only takes part in one song from the film. Although it’s not clear if the live-action film will take every song from the animated film or if they might also pull songs from the Broadway musical.
So far it’s shaping up to be quite the magical and talent-filled film, especially if the rumors are true that Emma Thompson is in talks to play Mrs. Potts. Although I do have to wonder how they’ll depict the enchanted objects as well as the Beast himself.
Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie so I’m all at once excited and nervous. The live-action Broadway musical works wonderfully so I know it can be done, but we always want what we love best to be perfect.
The script was penned by Stephen Chbosky of The Perks of Being a Wallflower fame, and Bill Condon (The Fifth Estate, Dreamgirls) is taking on the role of director.
Production is expected to start this summer although no release date has been announced.
What do you think of this casting news? Are you excited for a live-action Beauty and the Beast? Let us know in the comments!