Bill Condon is deep in prep for a live action musical adaptation of Disney's animated Beauty and the Beast. He already poached Emma Watson for the lead role of Belle, taking her from a planned, non-musical version of the story by Guillermo Del Toro, and now he's rounding out the leads with the Beast and Gaston, the two men who make the other corners of a rather heightened love triangle. For Gaston, the beefcake braggard who sings songs about how great he is and can't see past his own arrogance, Condon is looking to cast Luke Evans. The visual match is a good one, and I'm sure Evans will do a great job belting out an overblown performance. The Beast, meanwhile, will be played by Downton Abbey and The Guest's Dan Stevens. Presumably they'll use performance capture for his hairier look, though nobody has confirmed it won't be a make-up job, and we'll get to see Stevens as his own, handsome self in the finale at least. Emma Thompson is said to be negotiating the job of playing Mrs. Potts, the singing teapot, though The Hollywood Reporter don't mention this at all in their new report. Neither do they seem sure that the film is a musical, but it most assuredly is. The only question on that front is if they'll be using some of the songs from the stage version that didn't appear in the animated film - or, indeed, if they'll even use all of the songs from the animated film. Once you've put one song and dance number in you've probably done enough to alienate some folk, so I'd suggest they just go the whole hog for the rest of us. There's no release date set for Beauty and the Beast just yet.
Brendon Connelly has been a film writer since the early 90s, with time on the staff of Orbit Magazine, Slashfilm, Bleeding Cool, Den of Geek and many more. He's a long time teacher of film studies and practical filmmaking classes, and has directed music videos, commercials, short films and more. His favourite film is Terry Gilliam's Brazil, his favourite food is pancakes or crepes, and he tries to live his life by the teachings of Kermit the Frog.