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From THE GUEST to Be Our Guest! Dan Stevens has well and truly left Downton Abbey behind with the news he’s talking to Disney to star opposite Emma Watson in the live action BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

Securing the role of The Beast will be a massive breakout role for Stevens, whose fresh-faced good looks have been nicely subverted of late in movies like A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES. It may also test his lung capacity, with the adaptation said to be a transfer of 1991’s animated musical classic.

Welsh heartthrob Luke Evans is in the frame to play the villainous Gaston and Bill Condon is directing. Condon’s arguably an unusual choice, so we might not be getting entirely what we expect. The hiring of Kenneth Branagh to helm the critically-lauded CINDERELLA indicates the House of Mouse is putting real heft behind this new raft of remakes.

Next for Stevens is a potential gong, as he’s up for Best Male Newcomer at the Empire Awards this month. 2015 keeps getting better and better for the man who became the focus of period-powered ire after Downton creator Julian Fellowes controversially offed him at Christmas.

Source: THR