The cast of Disney’s live-action re-telling of their animated classic Beauty and the Beast continues to get impeccably cast, and their latest addition is no less impeccable than the rest. Although I not-so-subtly suggested when Sir Ian McKellen was cast as Cogsworth that his good buddy Patrick Stewart should be cast as Lumiere, Disney has instead cast another beloved sci-fi icon in the part, and hired former Jedi Knight Ewan McGregor to play the charming French butler who gets turned into a candlestick by a witch’s curse. McGregor of course, is no stranger to movie musicals, having starred in Moulin Rouge back in 2001, as well as theatrical productions of plays like Guys and Dolls early on his career.
Many people consider the song “Be Our Guest”, which is sung by Lumiere, to be Beauty and the Beast’s standout number (and that’s no small thing, as this musical is filled with standout songs) so this is a great showy part for McGregor to remind everyone of his musical theater chops. McGregor joins a cast that is already pretty darn amazing, which includes Emma Watson as Belle, Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Broadway star Audra McDonald as Garderobe. I’m not entirely sure what parts are left to fill for this (little baby Chip I guess?) but maybe they’ll come up with some new characters, like Belle’s mother for a flashback sequence or something, and get somebody legendary like Patti Lupone or something. Anything’s possible at this point.
Beauty and the Beast is scheduled to be released on March 17, 2017. It’s gonna be a long wait.