The highly anticipated live action Disney film “Beauty and the Beast” has been releasing updates nearly every week since it was announced, and this week is no exception. According to TIME on April 22, actor Stanley Tucci has joined the cast of the popular Disney classic and he will be playing an all new character that was created specifically for the film. Tucci will play Cadenza, a grand piano who lives in the castle. This marks the first time that a new character has been introduced into a live action retelling of a Disney classic. The film is already in pre-production and is slated to arrive in theaters on March 17, 2017.
The character of Cadenza is described as a “neurotic maestro” and is believed to play a major part in the songs for the film. The story will follow the classic tale of a young woman named Belle who finds herself living in a castle with a beast in exchange for her father going free. She finds that the objects in the castle are alive and she must fall in love with the beast in order to break the evil curse placed on the castle. The film was confirmed earlier this year, with actress Emma Watson landing the role of Belle, Emma Thompson playing the teapot Mrs. Potts, and Ian McKellen portraying Cogsworth the clock.
On April 22, Comingsoon.net confirmed the news and revealed that the film will also include new original songs in addition to the iconic songs. Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards for the 1991 animated film, will return to score the live action version and pen the new songs with Sir Tim Rice. The old songs will also be re-recorded as new versions for the new film. Bill Condon will direct the project, with a screenplay from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” writer Stephen Chbosky.
Actor Dan Stevens will play the Beast, “Frozen” actor Josh Gad will be LeFou, and Luke Evans will portray Gaston. Other casting information includes Kevin Kline as Belle’s father Maurice, Audra McDonald as the cupboard and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette the feather duster. Earlier today actor Ewan McGregor was confirmed to play Lumiere, the candlestick. Filming for the project is expected to begin this summer in the United Kingdom at Shepperton Studios.
Stanley Tucci has had a long career in theatre and movies, and is well recognized for his work in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006 and “Captain America: The First Avenger” in 2011. More recently he portrayed the host Caesar Flickerman in “The Hunger Games” trilogy, and is well known for his ability to change his voice and appearance for different characters. He has won two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards and has been nominated for an Academy Award for the 2009 film “The Lovely Bones.” Tucci also directed the films “Big Night” in 1996, “The Impostors” in 1998, “Joe Gould’s Secret” in 2000, and “Blind Date” in 2007.