Dan Stevens is in talks to play the Beast in the film version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
The former Downton Abbey star is said to be in negotiations to take the role of the monstrous creature alongside Emma Watson, who is playing Belle – AKA Beauty – where he would reunite with The Fifth Estate director Bill Condon.
Emma Watson will play Belle (Evan Agostini/AP)
Luke Evans could also join the cast of Bill’s adaptation as vain villain Gaston, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The story, based on the French fairytale, follows a young woman who takes her father’s place as a prisoner in a beast’s castle, only to fall in love with the creature, who turns out to be a prince.
Luke Evans (Joel Ryan/Invision)
Disney’s 1991 version, featuring the voices of Angela Lansbury, Paige O’Hara and Robby Benson, was a box office success.
Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s song, Beauty And The Beast, won the Oscar for best original song, and the music won best original score. The tracks, Belle and Be Our Guest, were also nominated for best original song.
Emma confirmed her casting in a Facebook post in January, where she said she would have to start tuning up her vocal cords.
Beauty and the Beast follows in the footsteps of other Disney films that have been given the live-action treatment, including Cinderella starring former Downton Abbey actress Lily James and Cate Blanchett, and Maleficent – a live-action take on Sleeping Beauty, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning.
Lily James as Cinderella (Disney/Jonathan Olley)
Dan, last seen as Sir Lancelot in Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, previously starred in thrillers The Guest and A Walk Among The Tombstones.
The 32-year-old actor will next be in Adam Sandler’s comedy The Cobbler and Jackie Earle Haley’s thriller Criminal Activities, alongside John Travolta.
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