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With an amazing cast of actors like Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the titular couple, and Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, and even Kevin Kline filling crucial roles in the story, it didn't look like Bill Condon's Beauty And The Beast could get any better. Sir Ian McKellen is about to prove all of that wrong, as he’s just been cast as Cogsworth in the 2017 would-be blockbuster.
Variety broke the cheerful news, probably with the help of a singing armoire and a footrest that acts like a dog, that McKellen has signed on as the tightly wound timepiece who acts as one of The Beast’s confidants. He is also afflicted by the curse that will only be broken once The Beast finds true love. What makes this piece of casting even more exciting is the fact that Condon and McKellen are reuniting for their third film together, after previously working on Gods And Monsters as well as the upcoming Mr. Holmes. Considering how well regarded their work together on the former film was, it won’t be a surprise to see either follow up effort shine just as brightly.
Bringing Sir Ian McKellen on board as Cogsworth is a huge addition to an already expertly picked cast. It looks like Bill Condon might be following in the footsteps of Kenneth Branagh before him, as Beauty And The Beast seems poised to follow in the footsteps of this year’s smash hit Cinderella. Casting McKellen does bring up an issue that needs to be sorted, and quickly. After all, if he’s going to be the uptight and very British Cogsworth, there needs to be some really good casting for the laid back and charming Frenchman that is Lumiere. If your first response was to cast Academy Award winner, and all around charmer, Jean Dujardin as the womanizing candelabra, then congratulations, you should be working for Disney casting. No, seriously, this needs to happen, and the world could use your help.
It’s hard not to get excited about Bill Condon’s Beauty And The Beast, as the director’s experience with theatricality is matched only by the cast that he’s got in his cannon this time out. With Cinderella turning out to be a better than expected investment for Disney’s cinematic portfolio, you can bet they’re going to want to go even bigger on this film, as the sky looks like the limit to what can be done. We’ll see just how magical it all is when Beauty And The Beast invites us all to be its guest on March 17, 2017.