The cast of Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast keeps growing and growing, with Variety reporting that Ian McKellen has signed on to play Cogsworth. In the original 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast, Cogsworth was the Beast's butler, who was then turned into a clock after a curse swept through his castle. The original Beauty and the Beast grossed over $375 million worldwide, and is one of the few animated movies to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
Ian McKellen joins a cast that already includes Emma Watson (Belle), Luke Evans (Gaston), Dan Stevens (Beast), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Josh Gad (LeFou) and Kevin Kline (Maurice). Bill Condon is directing from a script by Evan Spiliotopoulos, with Stephen Chbosky providing a rewrite. David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing through their Mandeville Films production company.
Production is slated to begin later this year, with Disney already setting a March 17, 2017 release date. Beauty and the Beast is just one of several live action adaptations of the studio's animated classics that are currently in development. Disney is currently developing new versions of Mulan, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh and Pinocchio. Next year, the studio will release new versions of Pete's Dragon and The Jungle Book, both of which are live action/CGI hybrid adaptations.