The upcoming big screen rendition of the timeless tale Beauty & the Beast, which will star Emma Watson as the titular beauty, may just have added a key cast member. It appears that Luke Evans is closing in on a deal that will bring him on board the film as the story’s resident disdainful douchebag, Gaston. Yes, it looks like the same guy who bravely brought down Smaug the Dragon will be going one on one with a "Beast" over unwanted lustful affections towards Watson’s Belle.
According to Variety, Luke Evans is in negotiations to star in the live-action dramatic adaption of Beauty & the Beast, which, amongst an array of other renditions, was famously animated by Walt Disney Animation Studios back in 1991. Evans would prospectively play the role of Gaston, a hunter and hunk of a human being whose hulking hugeness is matched only by his own nauseating narcissism. His arrogance and his vanity seem to be overlooked by the women in the village, who regularly swoon over him. However, much as the innately-selfish often tend to do, Gaston only has eyes for that which he cannot have; the insightfully unorthodox young woman named Hermione Granger…err, Belle.
If the film is expected to follow the known Beauty & The Beast story, Evans’ role as Gaston will facilitate much of the drama in this film. As mentioned, he’s an overinflated windbag who essentially has his pick of the proverbial litter as far as the village’s young coeds are concerned. Yet, he chooses to spend his time hounding Belle, who isn’t interested in giving him the time of the day.
Of course, the dynamic will change hugely when Belle gets involved with the reclusive Beast, who, unbeknownst to her (or Gaston, for that matter), is a handsome prince afflicted by a transformational curse. It looks like Gaston is going to need a lot of liquid courage to take on this monstrous romantic competition. At least it won’t be as potentially violent as Guillermo del Toro’s unrealized version (which, weirdly enough, would have also starred Watson.)
Luke Evans’ most prominent role has been as Bard the Bowman in the Hobbit films, the last of which, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, is closing in on the global $1 billion mark. However, he's played a villain before in 2013's Fast & Furious 6, and a villainous protagonist in the recent under-performing movie monster prequel Dracula Untold. Yet, despite that last mulligan, the Welsh actor continues to find his name high on the marquee for some notable high-profile projects, including a starring role opposite Olivia Wilde and Cillian Murphy in Free Fire and the revenge thriller, Message from the King.
Yet, of all of Evans' future projects, Beauty and the Beast seems to have the most potential to tap a lucrative demographic of formerly Twilight-obsessed tweens who have grown into young adults now and are looking for something a little more mature (or, we daresay, "good",) but with that same hint of a "forbidden romance with monsters" type feel. Someone else at the studio must have thought the same thing, since the film is being helmed by The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2 director Bill Condon.
Beauty & the Beast will hit theaters sometime in 2016.