Stevens is best known as Matthew "I'm-totally-not-paralyzed-anymore" Crawley on Downton Abbey, and he recently appeared in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and A Walk Among the Tombstones. Anybody who has seen Adam Wingard's outstanding genre exercise The Guest will tell you that Stevens is a revelation in the film, playing a charismatic and charming badass who can switch over to absolutely horrifying on a dime. The Guest demonstrates exactly why he's the right guy for this job.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stevens is currently in negotiations with Disney, snagging a coveted role that Ryan Gosling was rumored for last month.
Rounding out the all-British cast, meanwhile, is Evans. He's in talks to play Gaston, the vain, beefy big fish in a small pond who is exceptionally good at expectorating and has his sights on Belle.
You know Evans. He started his tenure as Universal's new Dracula in Dracula Untold last year, and he played Bard the Bowman in two out of three Hobbit movies. The actor, who played Zeus in Immortals and Aramis in the 3D Three Musketeers, has plenty of villain experience thanks to his turn as Owen Shaw in Furious 6.
Bill Condon, the director of Kinsey, Gods and Monsters, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, and the upcoming Mr. Holmes, is directing this new Beauty and the Beast. The screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky, the novelist-turned-filmmaker who previously worked with Watson on The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Disney has made hay with Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy tale before thanks to the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast, which became the first animated movie to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and grossed over $400 million worldwide.
Like its predecessor, this live action version will be a musical, so we'll be hearing Watson, Stevens, and Evans belting out new tunes.
Production on Beauty and the Beast is expected to get underway later this year for a release in 2016 or 2017 at the latest.
his is the latest in a series of live action riffs on established animated hits from Disney. Alice in Wonderland kicked off this fad in 2010 and the Sleeping Beauty do-over Maleficent continued it, earning $757 million worldwide last summer. The next entry in this odd little subgenre is this month's Cinderalla remake directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett. After that, there's Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book, which the studio recently delayed from November 2015 to April 15, 2016.