Former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley) is in talks to play the Beast/Prince in Disney’s live-action film Beauty and the Beast. Emma Watson is playing Belle, “the beauty.” Luke Evans is playing the villainous Gaston. Watson hinted that the retelling of the story will be a musical. “It almost feels surreal that I’ll get to dance to ‘Be Our Guest’ and sing ‘Something There,’” she wrote on Facebook.
Stevens will likely turn to the original 1756 fairy tale written by French novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont for inspiration. Stevens studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge. In 2012, while working on Downton Abbey, Stevens was a judge for the Man Booker Prize for Literature. He read 148 novels in eight months. Stevens claims that he had a hidden pocket sewn into his Downton costume to house his e-reader, allowing him to read on set between takes. The Man Booker Prize went to Hilary Mantel for her book Bring Up the Bodies.