Hobbit Star Luke Evans to Join Emma Watson in Disney's Live-Action Beauty and the Beast
The Hobbit's Luke Evans has been announced to join Harry Potter's Emma Watson in Disney's upcoming live film adaptation of Beauty and the Beast in the role of Gaston. As previously announced, Oscar and Golden Globe Award winner Bill Condon, writer and director of the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, will helm the film.
Evans is best known for recent roles in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit films, Fast and Furious 6, and as the lead in Dracula Untold. In Disney's animated and stage musical versions of Beauty and the Beast, Gaston is the handsome but arrogant villain.
Additionally, Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens will take on the role of Belle's captor and romantic interest, the Beast. In the tale, a selfish prince is transformed into a hideous beast as punishment for his coldhearted ways.
Dan Stevens is best known for his role as Matthew Crawley in the British drama Downton Abbey. His stage credits include a 2012 Broadway debut in Ruth and Augustus Goetz's The Heiress. He also played Orlando in Peter Hall's touring production of Shakespeare's As You Like It.
Beauty and the Beast features a script written by Evan Spiliotopoulos and rewritten by Stephen Chbosky. It is set to begin production later this year, though no release date has so far been announced.
The Oscar-nominated 1991 animated feature version of Beauty and the Beast grossed more than $375 million worldwide and inspired the long-running Tony-nominated musical, which ran on Broadway for over 13 years.