Following the box office success of Maleficent, Disney has gone back to the drawing board to come up with some new movie ideas and returned with...Beauty and the Beast. Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme — only this go-round, it's gonna be LIVE.
Not that that's much of a new idea either. Beauty and the Beast has been retold countless times since its first publication in the mid 1700s (and countless times before that, too). The past 30 years have seen several live-action film and television versions of the story. To name a few: Beastly, Beauty & the Beast (on the CW) and — OF COURSE — the late '80s TV version starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman.
The good news is that this latest Disney version is likely to follow the model of the 1991 animated film and include songs. Bill Condon is slated to direct, which bodes well for musical fans. Condon's past work includes the film versions of Dreamgirls and Chicago, so he certainly knows his way around a song and dance routine.
But who will play the key roles? I don't know, but let's brainstorm some ideas!
Some suggestions that were tossed around at Jezebel HQ: Anna Kendrick, Alison Brie, Amber Riley, Emmy Rossum and Selena Gomez.
There was one clear winner:
To quote Dodai Stewart, "Rihanna and the Beast would throw an amazing party in the library."
Considering how it's a tween's world and we just live in it, there's a high possibility that Disney will cast someone from a show like Teen Wolf or Vampire Diaries. Then again, the part could attract a big name.
Jonathan Groff (Frozen, Spring Awakening), Jeremy Jordan (Smash, Newsies), Chris Pine (Star Trek, Into the Woods), Drake (although imagine the heartache of casting him alongside RiRi!), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) and Chadwick Boseman (42) are all heartthrob-y actor-singers. Michael B. Jordan would be a good choice, but while he has a background in tap dancing, it's unconfirmed whether or not he can carry a tune. Considering possible non-singers: Tom Mison (Sleepy Hallow) and Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) would both make good, more mature Beasts.
If Disney's willing to cast a younger, lesser known actor, they always have the Glee cast to pull from: Harry Shum could definitely twirl Belle around the dance floor, Jacob Artist is a similarly gifted dancer and has the pipes to match and then there's always Darren Criss, who has a little more film and stage experience. Still, if I were a betting woman, I'd place my money on someone a tad older looking and more recognized.
No one's slick as Gaston, no one's quick as Gaston, no one's neck is incredibly thick as Gaston's, so who could play him in a live-action movie? Hugh Jackman seems like a safe bet (and we know he can sing), but there are a few other, less obvious choices: Bobby Cannavale always does brutish thug well, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson seems built for the part, Joe Manganiello also has the look down pat, Michael Fassbender — although maybe a little slight — has the right quality, and Jason Momoa could smarm up his Khal Drago to become a more than adequate pick.
As specimens, yes, they're intimidating.
Ok, so assuming that the ghost of Jerry Orbach is unavailable, here's who we came up with.
Tom Hiddleston definitely has the charm, talent and twinkle in his eye to pull it off. Jesse L. Martin could appear in Orbach's honor. Neil Patrick Harris would be close to perfect. Bruno Mars could make the jump to acting with the role, although he'd probably be pretty annoyed once he learned that candles don't wear fedoras. Alan Cumming would be a natural choice. Eddie Murphy has the voice and comedic chops to do the role justice. John Leguizamo also manages comedy well and has been in movie musicals before.
Angela Lansbury is still alive, so this is not even worth debating.
I can't name a single child actor right now, so unless we can go back in time and cast the little boy from Love Actually as he was then (because that would be freaking adorable), then I don't have any ideas.
Luis Guzman would be awesome, I think. Other choices of actors who can seamlessly mix anger and comedy (because Cogsworth is a real grump): Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny), Ken Jeong (Community), Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Mr. Show) and Josh Gad (Frozen, Book of Mormon) and Craig Robinson (The Office).
In the role of Belle's father, the (slightly bumbling) inventor Maurice, we see: Paul Giamatti, Don Cheadle, Terry Crews, Mark Addy and Hugh Laurie.
Now, throw out your suggestions! Or just complain about this movie getting made. Either way, please feel free to add thoughts of your own so that there's something there that wasn't there before! (I know, I'm reaching.)
Images via Getty.