Ian McKellen Joining Emma Watson In ‘Beauty And The Beast’: Maybe He’ll Make Cogsworth Tolerable

Ian McKellen and Emma Watson are teaming up for a fantasy fan’s dream collaboration. The wizard from The Hobbit and the witch from Harry Potter will star together in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast remake.

Ian McKellen’s Lord of the Rings character might resemble Dumbledore, but the beloved actor isn’t going to play a friendly mentor to Emma Watson’s captive character, future Disney princess Belle. Instead, he’ll play the Moaning Myrtle of Beauty and the Beast. According to Variety, McKellen has been cast as Cogsworth, the control freak clock who is always butting heads with laid-back candelabra Lumière.

In the animated Beauty and the Beast movie, Cogsworth was Prince Adam’s butler before his castle was cursed. The clock gets easily ticked off by the other servants-turned-furniture — many of them just want to have a good time, but Cogsworth tries to keep them in line so that their behavior doesn’t anger the temperamental Beast. Cogsworth was a bit irritating in the animated movie, but maybe a lovable actor like Ian McKellen can turn him into a fan favorite.

Because he’ll spend most of Beauty and the Beast as a clock, it’s presumed that Ian McKellen’s role will consist mostly of voice work. According to People Magazina, he’ll be joined by Emma Thompson as cheerful teapot Mrs. Potts, and Kevin Kline will play Belle’s father Maurice.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Dan Stevens has been cast as the Beast/Prince Adam, and Josh Gad will play Le Fou, the loyal sidekick of villain Gaston. Gaston will be played by McKellen’s Hobbit costar Luke Evans, and this won’t be the movie’s only reunion — Beauty and the Beast will mark the second time Ian McKellen has worked with director Bill Condon.

According to Deadline, Condon and McKellen previously teamed up to film Mr. Holmes, a look at the post-retirement life of beloved Detective Sherlock Holmes. Luckily, the 93-year-old isn’t finished solving mysteries just yet — he keeps “wrestling with the case that forced him into retirement.” Mr. Holmes will hit theaters on July 17, but viewers will have to wait much longer for Beauty and the Beast — it’s currently slated for a March 17, 2017, release.

At the rate Disney is going, it might get around to rebooting its own movie inspired by Sherlock Holmes, The Great Mouse Detective. The House of Mouse’s live-action Cinderella remake recently hit theaters, and it put a new spin on the Sleeping Beauty story by focusing on the fairy tale’s villain in Maleficent. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Disney is also working on a live-action Pinocchio movie, and Ryan Gosling is teaming up with Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro for a Haunted Mansion reboot.

Are you looking forward to the slew of Disney reboots in the works, or are you so tired of rehashed material that stars like Ian McKellen, Emma Watson, and Ryan Gosling aren’t enough to get you excited about these upcoming movies?

[Image credits: Disney, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty]

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