Beauty and the Beast film: Dan Stevens to play the Beast to Emma Watson's Beauty

Film secures all-British leads

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The Independent Culture

Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and Beast appears to have found its Beast, with Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens apparently self-confirming that he will play the bewitched prince.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Stevens was in the late stages of talks for the part, prompting Stevens to compound this by tweeting a 'BEAST MODE' picture on Twitter.

He will star opposite Emma Watson, who will play Belle, while Luke Evans is thought to be taking on the villain Gaston.

That makes it an all-British trio in the lead roles, a similar situation to Disney's next live-action retelling Cinderella, which is out on 13 March.

Twilight saga director Bill Condon will helm the movie, with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman producing.

Originally a French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a young woman who takes her father's place as a prisoner in a monster's castle, only to fall in love with that beast who eventually turns out to be a prince.

"It was such a big part of my growing up," Emma Watson said of the original animation. "It almost feels surreal that I'll get to dance to 'Be Our Guest' and sing 'Something There.' ... Time to start some singing lessons."