Disney+ has already proven itself as an industry-altering streaming distribution pipeline for the monolithic Mouse House’s myriad properties, and it appears that 2017’s live-action $1.2 billion worldwide-grossing hit, Beauty and the Beast, is set to be the next example of this notion, proving that shows can be mined from the most unlikely of places.
Luke Evans and Josh Gad are locked in to reprise their roles – as Gaston and LeFou, respectively – in an untitled live-action limited-run prequel television series that’s set for a Disney+ streaming run, as THR reports. The series, set at ABC Signature Studios, will manifest as a six-episode offering under the purview of appointed showrunners Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, a duo best known as the creators of ABC’s (Disney property-brandishing) Once Upon a Time.
The prequel nature of the series is implied in its very existence, since (apologies, but this spoiler is essential to the context of this story,) Evans’s role as Gaston – the primary antagonist in the 2017 live-action film – took a fatal tumble in the story’s climax. The character, a boastful brute who sought to forcefully covet romantic affection from Emma Watson’s Belle, was introduced in Disney’s iconic 1991 Beauty and the Beast animated feature (which the 2017 film directly adapted), and was an original addition to the source material – Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s 1740 fairy tale – inspired by the character Avenant in director Jean Cocteau’s 1946 live-action adaptation of the story. Yet, Gaston – in both the 1991 and 2017 versions – was typically shadowed by an obsequious toadie of a companion, LeFou, who was played in the 2017 film by Gad. Thus, their pusillanimous partnership will likely be explored on the series as an origin story of sorts.
Interestingly enough, the Beauty and the Beast TV project initially came about in the aftermath of the dissolution of another prospective project involving showrunners Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, as well as Gad, that being a Disney+ franchise-reviving television series titled Muppets Live Another Day. However, their Muppet venture was never meant to be, and the trio went back to the creative drawing board.
Indeed, the Disney+ Beauty and the Beast series will not only see Kitsis and Horowitz as showrunners, but will have the creative input of its stars, Evans and Gad, both of whom will also serve as executive producers alongside them. Moreover, the trio of the aforementioned lost Muppets series – Gad, Kitsis and Horowitz – will also reunite here as the show’s writers. Interestingly enough, this series won’t be the first time that Kitsis and Horowitz have tackled Beauty and the Beast, having previously portrayed it as a storyline on Once Upon a Time, with Robert Carlyle’s Rumpelstiltskin as Beast and Emilie de Ravin as Belle.
For now, the Gaston and LeFou-following Beauty and the Beast series has yet to reveal a release window, and the project is reportedly still in an early developmental stage. Yet, it will be interesting to see how it takes shape, and if – story and logistics permitted – we could see even more returning characters from the film.