Luke Evans is the Live-Action Gaston for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Remake

By  · Published on March 5th, 2015

Relativity Media

No one’s live-action like Luke Evans. Or something. The Hobbit and Dracula Untold star is taking on another literary character for Disney’s flesh and blood version of Beauty and the Beast, a redo of their 1991 Best Picture-nominated animated feature. According to Variety, Evans will play Gaston, the muscular hunter villain whose main faults are being in love with Belle and wanting to kill a frightening monster who has imprisoned her. In another story, he might be the hero. Sure, he’s an egotistical ass, but the whole town seems to love him, so he’s just been wrongly encouraged to be how he is for too long. No one’s misunderstood like Gaston.

No one’s shaped quite like Gaston in real life, either. Is Evans big enough? He doesn’t have to literally be the size of a barge, but is his neck incredibly thick enough? Does he have biceps to spare? Is his body covered in enough hair? Evans might be more scraggly and scrawny and less cleft-chinned than, say, a whole ton of action stars who could have been cast instead, but maybe there’s a plan to exaggerate his physique for appropriate burliness and brawniness using special effects like were employed in Disney’s live-action Alice in Wonderland. Gaston is a guy who has to be of intimidating proportions and an equal match for the Beast.

Oh, as it turns out, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog, that title role will be filled by Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, who is also rather skinny and on his own as the Beast would look more like a teen wolf than a massive bipedal bison. But of course he’s gotta be the handsome prince at the end, too.

In addition to those two new additions, we so far know Emma Watson is Belle, the director is Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) and the screenwriter is Steve Chbosky (Rent). Though unconfirmed, this remake is said to be even more of a musical than the ’91 film, supposedly looking to the Broadway version for songs, too. It’ll surely include “Gaston,” and for that Evans will need a proper voice. That trait he may have, as you can see in the below video of him crooning a Tom Jones tune.

Pretty good, but I still think they could have done better, like casting this guy who plays Gaston at Walt Disney World:

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.