In the world of Disney live-action fairy tales, Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast has just cast two more high-profile names. Variety exclusively reports that Ian McKellen is set to play the always sour and by-the-book butler Cogsworth. And Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who made a wonderful splash last year in Belle and Beyond the Lights, is set to play Fifi, the flirtatious maid.
Now having heard that Disney plans on making Dumbo, Mulan, and Winnie the Pooh live-action gold, Beauty and the Beast is one of the only ones (outside of Mulan) that sounds remotely exciting. Especially when the cast also includes Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston, and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts. The film will also star Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, and Dan Stevens as the beast.
The film is set to begin shooting later this year and will open March 17, 2015.