Beauty and the Beast: Ian McKellen to play Cogsworth the clock in Disney remake

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens are confirmed to star in the lead roles

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Ian McKellen has played many a varied role in his long career, but now the veteran actor will take on arguably his strangest yet – a talking grandfather clock.

The 75-year-old will star as Cogsworth in Disney’s upcoming live action remake of Beauty and the Beast, Variety reports, alongside Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast and Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts.

Butler Cogsworth’s life takes a turn for the bizarre when a curse is put on the Beast’s castle, transforming them all into various non-human characters. Only true love’s kiss before the last petal on the magic rose falls can free them.

Elsewhere, Disney is rebooting Mulan, Dumbo, Pinocchio, The Jungle Book and Winnie the Pooh, off the back of great success with Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and most recently, Cinderella starring Lily James.


Production on Beauty and the Beast is expected to begin later this year ahead of a planned March 2017 release.

The 1991 animated original grossed more than $375 million at the global box office and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

McKellen was recently confirmed for a return as supervillain Magneto in X-Men: Apocalypse next year and will next be seen in Mr Holmes as the popular detective.

He remains a tireless gay rights campaigner, regularly visiting schools with anti-homophobia charity Stonewall.