The cast of the upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast is coming together, with Dan Stevens cast as the Beast/Prince and Luke Evans in talks to play the villain, Gaston. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news of Stevens’ casting. Emma Watson has already signed on for this movie, which will follow the lead of other Disney live-action makeovers, such as the upcoming Cinderella.
Stevens is best known for his role in television’s Downton Abbey, though he’s also had roles in movies including The Guest and A Walk Among The Tombstones. Luke Evans, known for his recent roles in Dracula Untold and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, will be taking on the role of the villainous Gaston opposite Stevens. Emma Watson (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) will be playing the lead, Belle, who of course comes between these two. Though it hasn’t been confirmed, there are rumors (emanating mostly from Watson’s Facebook page) that this movie will be a musical.
Bill Condon is directing the film, following in the footsteps of the soon-to-be-released Cinderella (March 13), which is already getting great reviews. For those of you unfamiliar with the Disney movie and the original French fairy tale, Beauty takes the place of her father in the Beast’s castle, only to fall in love with him and return him to his natural, human state, while Gaston fights for the (forced) affection of Belle and against the monstrous Beast.
Beauty and the Beast is scheduled for release in 2016.