Sir Ian McKellen is about to take on his weirdest role yet

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Sir Ian McKellen has played a wizard, a magnetic supervillian and a toad – but now the actor is set to play his strangest role yet.

The veteran gay rights campaigne has signed up to play a clock in the new live-action remake of Disney classic Beauty and the Beast.

According to Variety, he will take on the role as Cogsworth the clock – while Harry Potter star Emma Watson will take on the main role of Belle.

In the original animated film, Cogsworth is a butler who has been transformed into a grandfather clock by the curse that afflicted the Beast’s castle.

The new film, which is slated for a March 2017 release, is set to enter production later this year, and will featue a cast including Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad and Emma Thompson.

The actor was previously thought to be departing his role in the X-Men franchise alongside colleague Patrick Stewart, after 15 years playing Magneto.

However, it was recently confirmed he will return in next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse, though Stewart will not.

The actor and gay rights campaigner was awarded the honour of Freedom of the City of London last year.

In addition to regular school visits with Stonewall to combat homophobia, Sir Ian – who was knighted in 1991 – also works on LGBT homelessness with the Albert Kennedy Trust.

Watch a clip from the original film below: