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Luke Evans to Play Gaston in Disney’s Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’

After squaring off with Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit series, Luke Evans will face off with a beast yet again for his next project.

Evans is reportedly in final negotiations to play Gaston in Disney’s upcoming, live-action Beauty and the Beast, the latest film in Disney’s apparent initiative to remake all its animated classics with real people (although Cinderella, unlike Beauty and the Beast, won’t be a musical).

To those who missed out on the 1991 classic, which was the very first animated film to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, Gaston is a handsome, super macho jerk who feels entitled to the love of Belle, and gets vengeful when he doesn’t get it. So much so, in fact, that he forms an angry mob to kill the Beast who’s won her heart. It’s not absolutely certain that the movie will follow that plotline exactly, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Gaston was just as bad, if not worse, than his animated counterpart. Live-action has the potential to make his violent, enraged personality more immediate and visceral.

Evans will join a cast that includes Emma Watson as the book-reading beauty Belle, a casting choice that has my expectations for this soaring through the roof. Hell, even if the original somehow wasn’t my favorite Disney movie of all-time, I’d still be stoked thanks to the involvement of Dreamgirls director Bill Condon. He will direct from a script by Evan Spiliotopoulos and The Perks of Being a Wallflower scribe Stephen Chbosky, making this one of the more impressive assemblages of talent for a Disney movie in some time, both in front of and behind the camera.

Production will begin later in 2015, although no release date has been announced just yet.

But what do you think of the casting news? Is Evans the right pick? Are you looking forward to this movie? Sound off in the comments!

Luke Evans to Play Gaston in Disney's Live-Action 'Beauty and the Beast'

Credit: New Line Cinema

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