Josh Gad Joining Disney's Live-Action 'Beauty and the Beast' (Exclusive)

Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans are already on board for the update of the 1991 animated classic.
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in Disney’s Frozen, is in final negotiations to return to the studio, this time for the its live action take on Beauty and the Beast.

Gad is the first American to join the project which already has Brits Emma Watson cast as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast/Prince, and Luke Evans as the vain villain Gaston.

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Bill Condon is directing and David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing.

Beauty, a French fairy tale, tells of a young woman who takes her father's place as a prisoner in a monstrous being's castle, only to fall in love with the creature who turns out to be a prince.

While sometimes Disney takes a more re-interpretative approach to its new takes on classic animated movies by giving them a spiffy live-action make-overs (a la Alice in Wonderland or Maleficent), in this case it appears the studio is aligning closer to the acclaimed 1991 original like it did with Cinderella, which opens this weekend to acclaim.

Case in point: Gad will play Le Fou, the buffoonish and loyal sidekick to the manly hunter Gaston, a character that was specifically created for the 1991 movie.

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Gad, who was part of Disney's Thursday announcement to shareholders that a Frozen 2 was in the works, is also reprising his role as Olaf in the new short, Frozen Fever, which plays in front of Cinderella, the studio's live-action update of its 1950 classic that opens today. He will next appear this summer opposite Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage in Sony’s tentpole, Pixels.

Gad is repped by ICM Partners, Brillstein Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham.

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