Over the last few weeks, Disney has been aggressively casting to populate the upcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, their now-classic 1991 animated feature that was the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the 64th Annual Academy Awards in 1992. After casting Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast (and Prince), and Luke Evans as the villainous Gaston, they’ve now cast the villain’s buffoonish sidekick LeFou.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, actor Josh Gad (Frozen, The Wedding Ringer) has been cast in the role, marking his return to the studio after voicing Olaf in Frozen (a role he’ll return to in the recently announced sequel). Although Beauty and the Beast is primarily based on the French fairy tale of the same name, this new film is primarily inspired by Disney’s animated film, as the inclusion of Gaston and LeFou were created specifically for the animated film, since the original story only features two primary characters. LeFou’s design is certainly one of the more unique in the animated film, since most of the human characters generally look realistically proportioned, save for the sidekick himself who looks more traditionally “cartoony.”
The approach to adapting their own work seems to be predominant among these new films, as is the case with this weekend’s Cinderella, as well as last year’s Maleficent.
Beauty and the Beast is slated to be released next year, to be directed by Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, The Fifth Estate). Gad himself can next be heard in the short film Frozen Fever screening ahead of Cinderella, and he can next be seen in Sony’s Pixels alongside Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage.
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