Casting Brainstorm: 'Beauty and the Beast'

As many of you know there has been some hotly debated casting recently, as there always is in Hollywood. Who will get what role and whether they are even up for grabs in the first place makes for interesting fodder. In this new feature titled Casting Brainstorm, Eclectic Pop offers some suggestions/wishful casting selections for upcoming roles.

It was recently announced that a live-action “Beauty and the Beast” meant to mirror the original 1991 cartoon version would be making its way to the big-screen. With Bill Condon confirmed as director, it’s only a matter of time before the leads are cast and cameras roll. Until an official announcement is made, fans and others who care to begin speculating, have the opportunity to consider who will play Belle, the feisty bookworm heroine and the cross Beast. Below are some casting ideas…

Belle aka "Beauty"

Amber Heard has been on the periphery of stardom for some time now. After making waves on the CW’s short lived mystery drama “Hidden Palms”, she’s been making a name for herself mainly starring in indies. There was the underrated 80’s era drama “The Informers” and her chilling turn in “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane”. She can play innocent, studied and strong. Belle would be a fun role for her and she can certainly convey the fearlessness to face down a beast.

Belle is also an ideal role for Keira Knightly, who fancies period pieces. It’s an opportunity to shed the emotionally stifled roles she’s had as of late and embark on an epic romance. Something she hasn’t done on-screen for a while now.

Another option is Odette Annable who is mainly known for her television work and a few horror flicks. In that work she has proven capable of pulling off the sweetness and overall grit, necessary for the role. Lucy Hale, the fresh faced “Pretty Little Liars” star has the wattage to light it up as Belle. The only problem is she might be too young for the role.

“Merlin” star Katie McGrath has the sass and believable cunning to be Belle. It’s a role that lends itself to her skill set working in historical/period dramas. Look no further than her recent run on “Dracula”. Leighton Meester is a wild card and a worthy pick. If she proved anything playing Blair Waldorf on the cult soap "Gossip Girl", it’s that she can play a brainy and sassy heroine with the best of them. 

The Beast

“True Blood” has been the perfect, animalistic warm-up for this role and Joe Manganiello (pictured above) is ready for his big-screen break. He can play the sensitive good guy one second and the snarly tough-as-nails muscle the next. He’s an actor with an impressive range and he has the physicality to play alongside any “Beauty”, while also being menacing and heroic at the same time. Personally, there is no better pick.

Breaking out with “Divergent” earlier this year, Theo James proved he can play the guy with a chip on his shoulder and the romantic hero, all at once. He can also stoke the flames of chemistry, as evidenced with Shailene Woodley and that will be a key component to being the “Beast”.

Another selection that would be interesting is Francois Arnaud of “The Borgias”. On the dazzling drama, Arnaud consistently impressed with his ferocity and his chemistry with co-star Holliday Grainger set screens ablaze. 

There is a compelling argument to be made that the two re-teaming to co-star as the titular characters would be an ideal casting, given they’ve already proven to have phenomenal chemistry. A possible hindrance would be Grainger’s already wrapped production on the live-action “Cinderella”, playing a wicked step-sister, so cross-franchising might be a tough sell. If there’s any casting rules worth breaking though, it would be for this opportunity.

Who would you like to see cast in the live-action “Beauty and the Beast”? Did any of these actors fit the bill? Eclectic Pop wants to hear from you! You can share your thoughts by tweeting @EclecticPop or leaving a comment below.

[Featured Image by Disney]