The casting of Disney’s live-action Beauty And The Beast remake has snared two major names for its supporting cast. THR reports that heavy-hitters Emma Thompson and Kevin Kline have now signed on to appear in the adaptation.
The duo join Emma Watson as leading gal Belle, Luke Evans as the villainous Gaston, Dan Stevens as the titular beast and the recently-appointed Josh Gad as Gaston’s sidekick Lefou. Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) is directing from a script by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).
Thompson has been assigned the role of Mrs. Potts – voiced by Angela Lansbury in the 1991 animated caper – while Kline is tapped to play Belle’s father, Maurice. Earlier casting releases have hinted that this upcoming movie will be a straight-up remake of the beloved ’90s version, as opposed to a brand new take based on the source material.
If further proof was needed to back up that assumption, the trade goes on to confirm the involvement of composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards for the 1991 animated classic. He has been enlisted to score the film, which said to “feature new recordings of the original songs in addition to several new songs written by Menken and Sir Tim Rice.”
The news emerges following a highly successful weekend for the studio, whose live-action Cinderella reboot starring Lily James cleaned up at the box office. Domestically, the movie netted $68 million. In light of that occurrence, Disney has scheduled an official release date for Beauty And The Beast, which is now set to arrive in theaters on March 17, 2017. Production will commence this May at Shepperton Studios in London, where a number of CGI components will be incorporated into this live-action tale.