A butler in waiting

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen will join Harry Potter star Emma Watson in his new role in a film version of Beauty and The Beast.

The actor, who grew up in Wigan, will play the Beast’s butler Cogsworth, who was transformed into furniture alongside the rest of the castle occupants upon being cursed by a spell.

Emma Watson will play the lead role, opposite the Beast, Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame.

Production is rumoured to be kicking off later this year with the proposed release date set for March 17, 2017.

Sir Ian said that the first get-together was a “nerve-wracking occasion” and admitted that he would “have to work hard to equal what has already been achieved.”