Idris Elba has become a leading man in Hollywood over the last few years, and while most of the movies where he can be found are geared towards adults, he did delve into family friendly territory last year by lending his vocal talents to three Disney movies. Elba's 2017 body of work, however, has been Disney free, but it wasn't for lack of trying on the actor's part. As it turns out, he auditioned to play Gaston in the live action action Beauty and the Beast movie. As he recalled:
I honestly love musicals. I auditioned for Beauty and the Beast. I really did, for Gaston. I called and said, 'Listen, I want in!' So somewhere they have a tape of me singing.
While Idris Elba hasn't had the opportunity to star in a musical yet, he does some singing experience under his belt. Appearing as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast would have been an excellent way for him to scratch that musical itch, as well as introduce him to moviegoers who aren't old enough to see him in projects like Luther, The Wire and The Dark Tower. Alas, the role ended up going to Luke Evans (seen below), and on top of that, Elba's audition tape is nowhere to be found. But as Elba told People, he holds no ill will towards Evans snagging the coveted role of Beauty and the Beast's egoistical and chauvinist main antagonist.
As mentioned earlier, even without Beauty and the Beast, Idris Elba has some Disney cred under his belt (and that's ignoring the Thor movies, since Marvel has been a member of the Disney family since 2009) thanks to the some of the studio's 2016 theatrical releases. Starting off, he voiced Chief Bogo in Zootopia, which was followed by his time as Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, and finally, he voiced Fluke in Finding Dory. All those movies were critical well received, with both Zootopia and Finding Dory grossing over $1 billion worldwide, as well as Zootopia and The Jungle Book both winning Academy Awards.
Even with the lack of Idris Elba (as crazy as that may sound), the Beauty and the Beast re-telling has done remarkably well since it was released in March. In addition to earning many positive reviews, it made over $1.2 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing movie of 2017. Fortunately for Elba, Disney has plenty of other live action remakes of their classic animated movies in development, and since many of those are also musicals, there's always the chance he could score a leading role in one of these forthcoming productions and belt out a few tunes.