You might not have noticed this, but Disney is pretty big on turning all of their animated fairy tale classics into new live action box office blockbusters. Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and so on—they’ve all been adapted into live action movies in recent years or are currently in the process of being adapted into movies.
Another one of their classics being adapted into a live action feature is arguably their very best animated fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. The latest casting to be announced for the movie is the villain and push-up master Gaston. It’s being reported that Luke Evans, who was recently seen playing Dracula in the origins movie Dracula Untold, has entered into negotiations to play the ever narcissistic antagonist.
Evans joins Harry Potter and The Perks of Being a Wallflower star Emma Watson, who we found out would be starring as Belle back in December. Interestingly enough, Watson was also attached to star in a live action retelling of Beauty and the Beast directed by Guillermo del Toro for Warner Brothers once upon a time.
Recently there was word that Lars and the Real Girl and The Ides of March star Ryan Gosling was Disney’s top choice to play the Beast role in the movie, though there is no word on whether the actor has officially signed on for the part or not.
Beauty and the Beast will be directed by Bill Condon, the Academy Award winning writer and director of Gods and Monsters, Kinsey, and Dreamgirls. He also penned the screenplay for Chicago, and directed both parts of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, The Fifth Estate, and Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh.
The screenplay was written by Evan Spiliotopoulos, who has worked on a collection of Disney sequels such as The Jungle Book 2, The Lion King 1 1/2, Tarzan II, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning before moving into live action features like Hercules and the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel. A rewrite was penned by Steve Chbosky who wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower and created, wrote, and executive produced Jericho.
A release date has not yet been set for Beauty and the Beast, but production is expected to begin later this year.
UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Downton Abbey and The Guest star Dan Stevens is now in negotiations to play the role of the Beast/Prince.