Last week, we got our first glimpse of the cast of the upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast all together as Josh Gad posted this amazingly happy little snap on Instagram.
With each announcement, the cast of this Disney classic just seems to get better and better, and this week it seems that almost everyone is present and accounted for - and there's even a new character in the mix!
Ewan McGregor As Lumiere
This was the big announcement that we have been waiting for, and I am so thrilled that the smooth-talking candelabra will be played by none other than Ewan McGregor!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, McGregor is in "final negotiations" to take the part, and it's such phenomenal casting that I'm just going to go ahead and believe it's happening. McGregor has the perfect voice for the sexy maitre'd, and while he'll have to change his trademark Scottish accent, I have faith that he can pull it off without a hitch. Really, I just can't wait to hear him sing again - it's been far too long since Moulin Rouge hit screens!
Stanley Tucci as... Cadenza?
If you don't recognize the name, you won't be the only one. According to Entertainment Weekly, Tucci is joining the cast as a brand new character! Cadenza will be a grand piano, and something of a "neurotic maestro".
I absolutely adore Stanley Tucci (who doesn't?) and cannot wait to see how he fits in with the rest of this star-studded ensemble, but I will admit to being a bit surprised by the character announcement. Anyone who saw The Enchanted Christmas will know that we already had a composer-turned-musical-instrument, and that it did not go well. I'm hoping that they go a completely different direction with Cadenza, but only time will tell. At the very least this tells us that the writers will be making some changes to the story.
The Rest Of The Cast
Now that we have almost every major player in place, let's do a quick run-down of the rest of the cast, in case you missed anyone!
Belle - Emma Watson
Ok, there's really no way that you could have missed this one. The Harry Potter star has been universally acknowledged to be perfect for the title role in the film, and has been confirmed for months.
Beast - Dan Stevens
Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens will be playing our Beastly Prince Adam, and with those blue eyes it's no wonder! It remains to be seen how much of the Beast is going to be CGI or mo-cap, and whether or not another body will be used for the overwhelming size of the Beast in his enchanted form.
Gaston - Luke Evans
Alongside Emma Watson, this is one of the actors who won't be voicing a CGI character, which makes his appearance all the more important. Aaaaand...they nailed it. Evans has the tall dark and handsome look down, and he's got enough experience with villainy and darkness to be the perfect narcissistic bad guy for the film.
LeFou - Josh Gad
Bringing his vocal talents back for another comedic sidekick role, Josh Gad will be another CGI-free cast member as Gaston's hapless sidekick, LeFou.
Mrs Potts - Emma Thompson
This kind teapot/housekeeper will find her voice in Emma Thompson, whose British accent you can already imagine asking Belle if she would like a spot of tea. Actually, I can imagine her asking Emma Watson if she would like a cuppa in between scenes, and it makes me incredibly happy.
Cogsworth - Ian McKellan
The other half to Lumiere's "odd couple" style partnership, Cogsworth is to be voiced by legendary actor Ian McKellan, meaning that one man will become Gandalf, Magneto, AND a beloved Disney character, and win at fandom bingo.
Garderobe - Audra McDonald
Remember the pipes on that wardrobe? Well, it's no wonder that the casting choice is a record-breaking six time Tony winning theater actress.
Maurice - Kevin Kline
Oscar-winner Kevin Kline will be taking on the role of Belle's father and local eccentric Maurice.
Monsieur D'Arque - Adrian Schiller
Proving that while we may meet a new face or two, the essence of the plot will remain the same is the casting for Monsieur D'Arque - aka the evil owner of the asylum.
Plumette - Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Finally, that flirtatious feather duster (and Lumiere's paramour) Plumette will be played by British stage actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw. This is a character that I would love to see more of in the new version, as I'll admit to being a big fan of her (relatively brief) role in the original animation.
Who Are We Missing?
It seems like the cast is nearly complete, but there are definitely still one or two important faces to fill in!
The most obvious omission from the list thus far is Chip, Mrs Pott's lovable and curious son. Chip is the last major character to be cast, and I have no doubt that his announcement will come next.
We're also missing the Enchantress, who laid the curse on the castle in the first place. Of course, she may not even appear, as in the original animation she is only shown in the stained-glass panels that form the opening to the film. However, I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that we will get at least one scene revealing the Beast's history, which necessitates an Enchantress. Hattie Morahan is listed on the IMDB page for the film, so perhaps she will be bringing the character to life?
Another option for Ms Morahan would be the Bimbettes (aka Claudette, Laurette and Paulette), the three busty blondes who fawn over Gaston and sob at his wedding.
Beyond this, there are a few minor roles to be filled - the kindly bookshop owner, general townspeople and other enchanted objects, and any other new characters who will be joining Cadenza as additions to the original cast list, such as Chris Andrew Mellon, who is listed on IMDB as "Nasty Headmaster". Could this be indicative of a little backstory for Belle?
With the cast now essentially complete and just under two years to go until the release date, I can't wait to see what this incredible collection of talented actors will create.
What do you think of the full cast list for Beauty and the Beast? Comment and let me know!