After playing the beloved snowman Olaf in Disney's animated blockbuster Frozen, actor Josh Gad has signed on to play LeFou in the studio's live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. The actor joins a growing cast that includes Emma Watson (Belle), Luke Evans (Gaston) and Dan Stevens (The Beast). The character Le Fou was not featured in the original fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, but was created specifically for Disney's 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast, one of the few animated movies to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
In the animated Beauty and the Beast, LeFou was the sidekick of the villainous Gaston. LeFou was voiced by Jesse Corti. The story follows Belle, who takes her father's place as a prisoner of the Beast, where she learns that he is actually a prince. After Belle falls for the Beast, Gaston leads an angry mob to kill him. Like the 1991 version, this live-action Beauty and the Beast is expected to be a musical, but that has not yet been confirmed by Disney.
Bill Condon is directing from a screenplay by Evan Spiliotopoulos (Hercules), which was rewritten by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower). David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing through their Mandeville Films company, with shooting scheduled to begin later this year. Josh Gad most recently starred in The Wedding Ringer, and he reprises his voice role as Olaf in the short film Frozen Fever, which is attached to prints of Disney's Cinderella that opens this weekend. He also stars in the FX comedy series The Comedians alongside Billy Crystal, which debuts April 9, and in Sony's Pixels, opening in theaters July 24.