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With production on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast beginning soon, the film is nearly finished rounding out its cast. Earlier today, we learned that former Obi-Wan Kenobi Ewan McGregor will star as the French candelabra Lumiere. Now Stanley Tucci has joined the film’s cast, but there’s one thing that makes his character unique from everyone else, he didn’t appear in the 1991 animated movie or the Broadway musical adaptation.
Variety reports that Tucci will play Cadenza the grand piano, who is described as a “neurotic maestro.” Following Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast is next on Disney’s slate of live-action adaptations of their classic animated films, which includes The Jungle Book, Dumbo, Winnie The Pooh, and Mulan. Beauty and the Beast follows the the gorgeous and intelligent Belle and the titular Beast, a prince who was transformed into a monstrous creature due to his selfishness. After imprisoning her in his castle, he tries to love Belle and get her to love him in return so he can become human again.
As mentioned earlier, unlike mainstays like Lumiere and Cogsworth, Cadenza wasn’t a character in Disney’s last big screen retelling of the classic fairy tale, but presumably, like the other anthropomorphic objects from the animated film, he will be transformed into his peculiar form because of the curse the enchantress laid on the Prince and everyone else within in the castle. With the other household servants’ forms ranging from a tea kettle to a dresser, a maestro turned into a walking and talking piano isn’t all that farfetched.
Since the film will include songs from the Broadway musical, as well as new material, it would be funny to see Cadenza provide some of the music, though I suspect he would play the keys himself rather than having someone else do it. Just picture him involved in the shenanigans of the “Be Our Guest” musical number.
This won’t be be the first time Tucci has lent his voice to a film, and he even provided the voice of Leonardo DaVinci in Mister Peabody and Sherman last year. Several of his other recent performances include playing Casear Flickerman in the Hunger Games movies and Joshua Joyce in Transformers: Age of Extinction. The actor joins a cast that consists of Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast/Prince, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Audra McDonald as Garderobe, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere.
Beauty and the Beast will be directed by Bill Condon, with Evan Spiliotopoulos writing the script. It is scheduled to begin filming next month at Shepperton Studios in London, and hits theaters on March 17, 2017.