No sooner did Disney cast Luke Evans as the villainous Gaston than word arrived that the studio has found its Prince for the live-action retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Downton Abbey” actor Dan Stevens is in talks to play the Beast opposite Emma Watson’s Belle in director Bill Condon’s film.
In the 18th-century French fairy tale, a beautiful young woman takes her father’s place as a prisoner in a hideous monster’s castle, only to fall in love with the Beast, who turns out to be handsome prince cursed by an enchantress. Disney famously adapted the story for its hit 1991 animated musical, which grossed $375 million worldwide and earned an Oscar nomination for best picture.
Although the studio hasn’t revealed any details about Condon’s version, it’s thought to retain at least some of the musical elements of the previous film.
Disney, which found great success last year with “Maleficent,” its live-action retelling of “Cinderella,” continues down that path next week with Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella.” New versions of “The Jungle Book” and “Pete’s Dragon” are also in the works.
Best known for his role as Matthew Crawley on the British period drama “Downton Abbey,” Stevens has also appeared in such films as “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” “A Walk Among the Tombstones” and “The Guest.”
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