Having played Girl Who Follows Gaston Around #3 in my high school’s rendition of Beauty And The Beast to very mediocre effect, I feel immensely qualified to talk about the classic fairy-tale at great length. And here on The Dissolve Newsreel, we’ve done just that, covering literally every piece of casting news about the forthcoming live-action remake. No, hold the applause. We’re here for YOU. Let’s recap what we know so far in a very organized bulleted list, because it’s a lot and I don’t want to overwhelm you on a Friday:
- It will be directed by Bill Condon, responsible for such masterpieces as Kinsey, Dreamgirls (which I once watched twice in a row because it’s a free country), and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2.
- It will star feminist icon, highly competent wizard, and very smart person Emma Watson as Belle, a bookworm and beauty who says hello to every single person in her neighborhood every single morning and loves stories about crackpipes and sewing.
- Dan Stevens, owner of at least one great pair of abs and at least two twinkly eyes, is set to star as The Beast, a sexy prince who turns into a monster because he has the gall to turn away a solicitor.
- Luke Evans, who definitely looks like he eats five dozen eggs every morning to help him get large, will star as Gaston, who tries to woo Belle but fails because he hates literature.
- Emma Thompson, a personal hero of mine who is in the running for the Best Living English Person, will play Mrs. Potts, either as an uncanny CGI teapot or a British person dressed very convincingly as a teapot.
- Kevin Kline, best known for being normal-sized, will play Belle’s very tiny father Maurice, who invents odd machines and is oft-referred to as “crazy old” by his haters.
- Josh Gad, best known for being Roger Ebert’s doppelgänger, will play Gaston’s sidekick, a nasal-voiced, bumbling evildoer who is about the same size as Maurice, for reasons that are never explained.
- The movie will “align itself closely with the 1991 animated classic,” but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney hasn’t officially confirmed that it will be a musical. (Though an article in Playbill disputes that, and claims it will feature both new and original songs. Who to believe?!) But I think it will be! Why? [drumroll; dramatic trumpet]
Because today, THR announced that Audra McDonald, a Tony Award-winning actress with a set of velvety pipes that put my 10-second Girl Who Follows Gaston Around #3 solo to massive shame, will play The Wardrobe. I don’t remember The Wardrobe having a name in the 1991 version, but apparently, her name is Garderobe, which is French for either “wardrobe,” “medieval toilet,” or “a robe in the garden.” No word yet on who will play Lumiere, or the Featherduster, or Cogsworth, or the Baker With His Tray, Like, Always.
Garderobe’s arc is bleak, a dark metaphor for the ruthlessness of capitalism and the unforgiving nature of high fashion: Once a lady-in-waiting for the Prince, Garderobe spends much of the original movie holding all of Belle’s clothes. The character has a moody solo in “Human Again,” a song that was cut from the 1991 film but was definitely in my high school’s deep-cut version. There’s no doubt McDonald would kill it—she’s won six Tonys (!), including Best Performance for 2012’s Porgy And Bess and for 2014’s Emerson’s Bar And Grill. To put her in a movie and not allow her to sing would be a criminal offense on par with telling an old lady to get off your castle stoop. So, unless Disney wants to be the recipient of a life-ruining curse, they better make sure this movie’s got music in it.
Oh, and last thing:
- Beauty And The Beast will be released in 3-D March 17, 2017.