Dan Stevens to play Beast

Dan Stevens is in talks to star opposite Emma Watson in 'Beauty and the Beast'

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Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens is in talks to star in 'Beauty and the Beast'.

The 'Downton Abbey' actor has entered negotiations to play one of the title roles opposite Emma Watson, while Luke Evans is in discussions to play his jealous love rival Gaston, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

The movie follows a young woman, Belle, who is pursued by two men, a cursed prince turned into a beast, and Gaston. When she chooses the beast, her spurned suitor recruits a mob to hunt down and kill his hairy rival.

If the two actors do sign on for the roles, they will have to brush up on their singing skills.

The film's director Bill Condon has been working with composer Alan Menken to determine which songs from the 1991 animated movie will make the cut in the eagerly-awaited live action film.

Emma recently revealed she'd been cast in the role of Belle and had already started singing lessons in preparation for the musical role.

Writing on her Facebook page, Emma said: "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"

Filming is scheduled to begin later this year, while a definite release date has not yet been set.

Beauty and the Beast

  • 4 stars
  • 2017
  • US
  • 129 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Bill Condon
  • Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Emma Thompson, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Josh Gad
  • UK release: 17 March 2017

Belle (Watson) is forced to live with a Beast (Stevens) in this live-action retelling of the 1991 blockbuster. Watson is winsome but feisty, Evans as Gaston is splendid of voice and hilariously odious, McGregor brings much joie de vivre to ‘Be Our Guest’, and it’s an enchantingly realised delight.

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