With the grand success of Cinderella this year, Disney would be all the more serious about its next live-action adaptation of a fairy tale which is Beauty and the Beast, slated for a March 2017 release. The 1991 animated movie, based on a French fairy tale, had been a roaring success then, and is considered as one of the best musical animated movies under the Disney banner. The studio is now working on recreating that magic, this time without the animation. Many of the primary characters have been cast, and together they look like a wonderfully talented bunch, which under the direction of Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Mr. Holmes), could give Disney another bumper hit.
Emma Watson as Belle / Beauty
It has been almost four years since the Harry Potter finale, post which Emma Watson has worked hard to expand her acting prowess. A leading role for a big studio production has now come her way, and this would be her first test to carry the burden of a movie largely on her shoulders. I bet she will live upto the expectations!
Dan Stevens as Beast
A big role for Dan Stevens, who many would know as Matthew Crawley from Downtown Abbey TV series, and some as Sir Lancelot from Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. How will they showcase the beast in a live-action film would be interesting.
Luke Evans as Gaston
The dashing Luke Evans will take on the role of the antagonist who in the 1991 flick vied for Belle’s hand in marriage and was enraged at not getting his wish. Being the bad guy will not be something new for Evans, having done so wonderfully before in Fast & Furious 6.
Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts
The talented Emma Thompson has been cast as the castle cook who was turned into a teapot when the castle was put under a spell. She also was like a motherly figure to Belle, a role we can comfortably see Emma Thompson pull off.
Ian McKellen as Cogsworth
Free from his duties as Gandalf and maybe Magneto too, Ian McKellen will now play a clock. Err, Cogsworth was the castle butler and extremely loyal to the Beast, who got transformed into a clock. Bet on McKellen to nail this one too!
Josh Gad as LeFou
The comedian Josh Gad will play the buffoonish and loyal sidekick of Gaston. Expect him to lighten up the mood a bit!
Kevin Kline as Maurice
Veteran actor Kevin Kline has been cast to play Belle’s father, Maurice, who is an inventor, though considered by many to be crazy except for his loving daughter.
Audra McDonald as Garderobe
The stage veteran and TV actress Audra McDonald will play the lady-in-waiting of the castle who gets transformed into a wardrobe.
More or less all the main characters from the 1991 film have been cast, except for Lumière who is a flirtatious maître d’ of the castle who gets transformed into a candlestick, and Chip, who is Mrs. Pott’s son and transformed into a teacup. A wonderful group of actors has been assembled so far, and whether you like fairy tales or not, this movie might deserve a viewing for its actors alone!