Ever since Emma Watson announced that she’d be playing Belle (all by herself! She really is a funny girl, that Belle!), Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast has been one of this season’s hottest casting projects. Which, naturally, has led to much speculation: when EW’s staff bounced around a list of ideal candidates to round out the cast about a month ago, for example, Josh Gad was the unanimous choice to play Gaston’s bumbling lackey Le Fou. You might argue that Josh Gad was born before Disney even invented Le Fou—but was he, really? Couldn’t Disney have willed him into existence, fully formed, solely to play this part? Has anyone even seen Josh Gad age?
Now that THR reports Josh Gad is, in fact, in final negotiations to play Le Fou, it’s clear we were onto something—even if we still think Chris Pine would have made a great Gaston. (Instead, the role went to Welsh actor Luke Evans.) No disrespect to Evans, who brings considerable talent and abs to the part—but when Pine stood on a waterfall, ripped open his shirt, and competitively burst into song in Into the Woods, did not something inside of you whisper, “He uses antlers in all of his decorating”?
Still, there are plenty of roles still to be filled. So pull up a chair as EW proudly presents … your dream cast.
Maurice: Jim Broadbent
Veteran character actor Jim Broadbent brought Harry Potter’s Professor Slughorn to life, and who is Slughorn if not Hogwarts’ very own version of “crazy old Maurice”? Belle’s father is an absent-minded dreamer looking to be remembered, and Broadbent is a natural at playing men whose ideas get them into trouble.
Mrs. Potts: Imelda Staunton
Staunton has more than her experience as a tea-loving Harry Potter character to back up her credentials here. A veteran musical theatre actress, she’s won three Olivier Awards—and one was for Into the Woods, so she and Chris Pine could bond about that on set. (In our dreams.) And for her own sake, it’s about time she play a character who doesn’t make children run away screaming.
Lumiere: Jean Dujardin
Who wouldn’t want to be his guest? The French actor, best known for his Oscar-winning role in The Artist, is the kind of guy you’d trust to light the way around a dark castle. Dujardin is also an experienced comedian, and one of only a small handful of people who would not be upstaged by singing desserts.
Cogsworth: Colin Firth
Cogsworth is like the living embodiment of that noise Colin Firth makes in Love Actually when he climbs over the railing.
Fifi (the feather duster): Lea Seydoux
French actress Lea Seydoux is fresh off a starring role in (what else?) a Franco-German live-action Beauty and the Beast, so she already fits into this world. Seydoux can pull off the intelligence and allure we need from our singing dusters.
The Wardrobe is absolutely the Beauty and the Beast character most likely to live-tweet the goings-on around the castle, so who better to embody her than Parks and Recreation’s Retta? She’d comfort Belle, but she wouldn’t pull any punches, either. And let’s not forget that Retta can sing.
Insane asylum master Monsieur D’Arque: David Bradley
Not that Beauty and the Beast needs to be a Harry Potter reunion (though we wouldn’t object if it were), but there would be no prisoners out of bed on David Bradley’s watch. Like Gad, we’re not entirely convinced that he wasn’t invented by Disney’s animators.