Luke Evans Cast as Gaston Opposite Emma Watson in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Bill Condon is directing the live-action musical, which is being produced by Mandeville Films

Luke Evans is nearing a deal to play Gaston opposite Emma Watson‘s Belle in Disney’s live-action musical “Beauty and the Beast,” an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.

Bill Condon (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”) will direct from a script written by Stephen Chbosky, who directed Watson in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Evan Spiliotopoulos wrote the previous draft of the screenplay.

David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing under their Mandeville Films banner.

Gaston is the handsome antagonist who competes with the Beast for Belle’s affections and leads a group effort to kill the creature.

Disney had also been courting newly-minted Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne to play the Prince, according to sources, though he recently passed on the role.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the latest Disney classic to receive a live-action adaptation following “Maleficent,” “Cinderella” and Jon Favreau‘s upcoming take on “The Jungle Book.”

Evans recently starred in “Dracula Untold,” “Fast and Furious 6” and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” He recently wrapped Ben Wheatley’s “High Rise” and will reteam with the director on “Free Fire.” He’s represented by WME and United Agents.

Variety broke the news.