It’s a tale as old as time, but with a new twist! After various reports that he was negotiating for the role, Downton Abbey alum Dan Stevens will play the Beast to Emma Watson’s Belle in the 2016 live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.
In a move that signals his solidifying the part, the 32-year-old actor took to Twitter on Wednesday (Mar. 4) and posted an image with the caption “Beast Mode.” Emma Watson signed on the play the Disney princess this past January and, in a move that would complete the all-British lineup, the Welsh actor Luke Evans is reportedly up for the role of the villain Gaston.
Emma, 24, confirmed her role at the start of the year, with a message to her fans on Facebook. “I’m finally able to tell you… that I will be playing Belle in Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast!
“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. My six-year-old self is on the ceiling – heart bursting. Time to start some singing lessons. I can’t wait for you to see it. Emma xx.”
Since leaving Downton in 2012, Dan has showcased her versatility on the big screen – playing a drug trafficker in Walk Among The Tombstones, Sir Lancelot in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and a potential murderer in The Guest. Earlier this week, he was seen filming opposite Richard Gere for their upcoming project together, Oppenheimer Strategies. Appearing as the Beast, however, will be Dan’s most high-profile role to date.
Disney looks set to be bringing together an all-British cast for the film; similarly they chose British leads for the live-action Cinderellamovie, which opens on 13 March and stars Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden and Downton’s Lily James.