THR reports that Dan Stevens ("The Guest," "The Fifth Estate") will play the Beast while Luke Evans ("Dracula Untold," "The Hobbit") will play Gaston in the live-action re-interpretation of Beauty and the Beast" for Disney.
Emma Watson is officially set to play Belle in the movie that will be on the darker side of the 1991 animated classic - yet still retain the big-budget fantasy elements that have made Maleficent "Alice in Wonderland" and "Oz The Great and Powerful" smash hits for the Mouse House. Live action versions of "Cinderella" and The Jungle Book are on the way as well.
Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls") has signed on to direct while "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" writer/director Stephen Chbosky wrote the latest script draft
UK writer Joe Ahearne ("Trance") was tipped to write the first draft but Evan Spiliotopoulos penned the original draft instead.
David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce the film. Production on Beauty and the Beast will start this year
Watson had been attached to Guillermo del Toro's adaptation of the story at Warner Bros called "Beauty" but that project stalled last year. Del Toro apparently gave Watson his blessing for her to jump to the Disney version