Can Walt Disney Pictures give us any more reason to drool and dream??!!!! Those of you who have been following my pieces regarding the upcoming live-action production of Beauty and the Beast know that my curiosity has been with who will be cast as the handsome, yet arrogant, self-absorbed Gaston. Well – it is with great pleasure that I inform you that….it appears we may have our dastardly villain! Of course, the breaking news does not stop there! It looks like there has also been a cast change in the role of the transformed prince!
Variety released yesterday (March 4th) that Walt Disney Pictures is in negotiations with Welsh actor, Luke Evans, to take on the role of Gaston, opposite Emma Watson (of Harry Potter fame). Evans even posted the article to his Twitter account. Gaston is known as the testosterone-driven braggart who determines to win Belle’s heart, but loses it to the Beast, initially reported to be played by Ryan Gosling. Not exactly thrilled to be upstaged, Gaston rounds up the townspeople and plots to rid himself of the competition. Evans is no stranger to fighting beasts as he fought the Laketown dragon in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. He is also not a stranger to playing the villain as he took on that persona in Fast and Furious 6. The role of Gaston should be one Evans takes on with ease and perfection.
News also broke on the heels of the above announcement that the role of Beast may now be played by someone other than Gosling. Negotiations are apparently underway with Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens to take on the part of the cursed prince. The jury is still out as to what happened to Gosling, but the English born actor and producer, Stevens, is a breakout star who has already proven his worth on screen in such films as A Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and The Guest. Stevens took to Twitter yesterday with the announcement, “BEAST MODE,” obviously giving credibility to the rumors.
As noted in previous articles, production for Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, will begin later this year, but we still await the announcement of a release date. The film will be directed by Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films. The script itself was written by Evan Spiliotopoulos with rewrites by Steve Chobsky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Walt Disney Pictures has had a string of successes by bringing these cherished stories closer to our hearts and unraveling these characters before our eyes. From Maleficent to the much anticipated release of Cinderella on March 13th, we certainly look forward to more creative interpretations in the future, such as the retelling of The Jungle Book and Pete’s Dragon.
So, Walt Disney Pictures seems to have rounded out what appears to be a fantastic trio of actors for the upcoming production. Personally, I could not have come up with a better match for the role of Gaston. I mean, those eyes…that physique! I am not as familiar with Dan Stevens, so my opinion on this particular casting choice is still forming. In the meantime, I leave you with this:
“Say it again
Who’s a man among men?
And then say it once more
Who’s the hero next door?
Who’s a super success?
Don’t you know? Can’t you guess?”
It’s Luke Evans!!!!
What’s your take on this casting news? Do you think Luke Evans is the perfect choice? Can you see Dan Stevens playing the princely Beast? Stay tuned to Magical DIStractions to find out who will be cast next in this beloved fairy tale.