Next year, another animated Disney classic will be coming to the big screen in a live-action adaptation; my personal favorite, Beauty and the Beast.
Everything I've heard about the film so far makes me incredibly happy, especially the casting. Emma Watson is the perfect choice for Belle. Whether its her bookworm credentials from growing up "as" Hermione, her natural grace and class, or just her stunning Disney-worthy beauty, I couldn't think of a better choice to bring my favorite princess to life.
Then earlier this week, we learned that Luke Evans (The Hobbit trilogy, Dracula Untold) is in talks to play narcissistic villain, Gaston. Again, this is some inspired casting, and is going to be absolutely perfect as the self-obsessed jock with one thing on his mind. (Himself. Obviously.) I cannot wait to see what happens with Gaston in this movie - there is something of a trend towards more sympathetic villains, and he could easily become more ignorant and short-sighted than truly evil. If Maleficent can become the hero of her story, who knows what could happen with Gaston?
Finally, we got some news about a potential actor to play the second most important role, Beast. According to THR, Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) will be joining Emma and Luke as cursed prince Adam, but is he really the best choice for this role?
Despite his experience playing a member of the upper class, and the most amazing blue eyes (which are really the most important part for a character that will be presumably mostly CGI), he just isn't physically the person that I would imagine as Adam. Of course, there is a solid possibility that I feel this way because I know him best as Matthew on Downton Abbey, who is far from an imposing figure! It's very possible that he can bulk up, and he does have the most amazing eyes, but I just can't seem to reconcile the shape of his face with the Adam that I had a crush on as a child!
We only see Adam in the final moments of the original film, although we get some better looks at our prince in the follow up: The Enchanted Christmas. When in human form, he has long blonde/brownish hair, piercing blue eyes, a strong jaw and classically handsome features. He also retains some elements of his beastly size, being extremely tall, broad-shouldered and well-built. Stevens, on the other hand, has a much more delicate bone structure, slimmer figure, and stands at five foot ten.
While I'm still incredibly excited about the film, and can't wait to see what Stevens does with the role, I can't help but feel that there are some other actors who would have suited it a little better.
1. Alan Ritchson
If you are looking to cast a well-built, blonde, classically handsome actor with plenty of action experience and abs you could grate cheese on... look no further. Not only is Ritchson incredibly gorgeous, he's made a name for himself on both big and small screens, recently appearing in the Hunger Games franchise. Ritchson is definitely tall enough to be a beast, and at 6'2", would actually be bigger than Luke Evans as Gaston. It would be ideal to see Adam as larger than Gaston, as he is in the original film, and it makes something of a point about Gaston's belief that he is the best and strongest man around.
The problem: It's the eyes again. His eyes are hazel, and less open than Adams would ideally be. That said, to have a prince who can look down on Gaston and scoop Belle up properly, I'm ok with contacts.
2. Colton Haynes
It may be near-impossible to fit in a leading role in a movie at the same time as filming the hit show, Arrow, but just look at that jaw! Colton Haynes would be a perfect choice for prince Adam, and not just for his good looks. As well as having the blue eyes, square jaw and strong features of the beast, he's muscular and more than experienced with action roles. As Roy Harper in Arrow, he's already shown us the bad boy with a heart of gold, and the out of control temper, that Beast needs.
The problem: His height. Haynes is shorter than Stevens, at only 5'7". That's only three inches taller than Emma Watson!
3. Alex Pettyfer
Imagine that blonde hair cascading over his shoulders, and Alex Pettyfer seems like the perfect candidate for prince Adam. Like Colton Haynes, it's all about the jaw and the cheekbones - you could cut yourself on these ones! Then we have his experience in the 2011 film "Beastly" where he already played an adapted version of the Beast! Add in the rippling pectorals from his part in Magic Mike, and you've got one heckuva prince in the making.
The problem: His eyes. Alex has incredible eyes, but sadly, they are green, not blue! Of course, colored contacts could take care of that...
4. Chris Pine
If you feel that the most important element of the character is his eyes (after all, we aren't going to see his human form for 90% of the movie!), then Chris Pine is the perfect Beast. Just look at those baby blues!! Then add in his strong features and amazing hair, and why would you choose anyone else? Both Adam and Gaston need thick, flowing locks, and Pine has the kind of hair to make anyone swoon with jealousy. He's also six feet tall - the same height as Luke Evans. Finally, he's already played a Disney-esque prince, as Cinderella's prince in Into The Woods.
The problem: He may have to do a little working out for the role. While he's far from fat, he doesn't have the same chiseled definition as many other actors. That said, he does have nice broad shoulders to hang some extra muscle on, and if Pratt can manage the transformation he did for Guardians of the Galaxy, there should be nothing stopping Pine from doing the same.
5. Armie Hammer
Armie Hammer has the softest features of any of my picks, but there is definitely something of the Disney-prince quality to him. His eyes are the perfect shade of blue, and most important for a character who will be altered to look like a beast, he's tall. Six foot four inches worth of actor, which is a perfect height difference for taking on Gaston.
The problem: He's not the only one with this issue, but his hair would definitely need to make friends with some bleach.
What do you think of Dan Stevens as Beast? Does he look the part? Does it even matter, if the character won't be human for the bulk of the film? Comment and let me know!