Luke Evans, Gaston, Beauty and the Beast

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images; Disney

Has Emma Watson' Belle's boorish, brainless and gorgeous suitor Gaston been found?

Luke Evans, last seen as Bard the Bowman in the trilogy The Hobbit, is in negotiations to play the part of the part of the handsome villain in Disney's upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast movie. Walt Disney Studios has not commented, but Evans tweeted a link to Variety's report on the casting coup.

Watson, 24, revealed in January that she had been cast as heroine Belle, adding, "Time to start some singing lessons."

Evans, a 35-year-old Welsh actor, is also known for roles in films such as Robin HoodThe Three Musketeers, Dracula Untold and Fast & Furious, in which he played the villain Owen Shaw. Evans also has musical theater experience—he's starred in London and other U.K. productions of shows such as Miss Saigon, Avenue Q and Rent, in which he played Roger.

The Wrap also reported that Eddie Redmayne, 33, who showcased his singing skills in the film Les Misérables and last month won an Oscar for The Theory of Everything, had previously been approached for the role of Gaston but passed. 

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn's Bill Condon is directing the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie, based on the beloved 1991 animated movie, one of the most popular Disney flicks of all time and winner of Oscars for Best Music, Original Song and Best Music, Original Score. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, marking the first time an animated movie received such a nod, and lost to The Silence of the Lambs.

Disney first announced plans to make a live-action Beauty and the Beast film in June 2014, a month after the release of Maleficent, a live-action prequel to its popular animated film Sleeping Beauty. The new movie, which starred Angelina Jolie, made more than $758 million worldwide.

Disney is also planning to release a live-action big screen version of The Jungle Book and of Cinderella. The latter stars Lily James, Game of Thrones' alum Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter and The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings star and Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and is set for release on March 13.

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