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Dan Stevens of DOWNTON ABBEY Is the Beast in Disney’s Live-Action BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Beauty has found her Beast, as former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens has joined Disney‘s live-action retelling of the classic 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast as the cursed prince. Stevens left Downton Abbey at the end of the third season, and although starring in a few smaller films since then, this could be his big cinematic breakout role. Stevens will join Emma Watson, who is playing Belle, while Dracula Untold star Luke Evans is also reportedly in talks to play the super vain and egotistical villain Gaston. Bill Condon, who wrote Chicago and directed Dreamgirls, is set to direct.

Unlike recent live-action re-dos of classic Disney animated films like Maleficent and the forthcoming Cinderella, which didn’t use the music from the original films, Beauty and the Beast is seemingly going to be a full fledged musical, using the music from Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman.

Although the studio has not 100-percent confirmed this fact, when cast in the film, Emma Watson said, via her Facebook page, “It was such a big part of my growing up, it almost feels surreal that I’ll get to dance to ‘Be Our Guest’ and sing ‘Something There.’ … Time to start some singing lessons.”

I think that quote says it all. Ashman and Menken’s score for Beauty and the Beast is one of the strongest in the Disney catalog, and Condon is best known for two successful movie musicals, so it seems like a no-brainer that this version will include the original musical score. Now can we get The Little Mermaid next please?

HT [Hollywood Reporter]

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