Disney+ has officially green-lit a “limited musical” prequel to Beauty and the Beast following the rise of the fairy tale’s villain, Gaston. Joker with more song and dance, Beauty and the Beast (working title) is the prequel to 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, once again starring Luke Evans and Josh Gad as Gaston and LeFou. Briana Middleton (The Tender Bar) is introduced as Tilly, LeFou’s stepsister, who joins the “unlikely trio” on the adventure “after a surprising revelation from her past comes to light.” “For anyone who’s ever wondered how a brute like Gaston and a goof like LeFou could have ever become friends and partners, or how a mystical enchantress came to cast that fateful spell on the prince turned beast, this series will finally provide those answers … and provoke a whole new set of questions,” said Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Branded Television, in a release. The series was developed and written by Gad with Once Upon a Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. All three serve as co-showrunners. Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed) will direct the first episode. Alan Menken, EGOT winner who scored both Beauty and the Beast movies, is also writing the soundtrack for the series, with lyrics in the first episode by Glenn Slater of Tangled. The announcement comes as Disney marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic animated film and, more pertinently, during Pride month. Lots of “exclusively gay moments” to make up for, Disney+!
Josh Gad and Luke Evans. Photo: Shutterstock