Beauty and the Beast Prequel Series Set at Disney+
Disney+ will bring back Beauty and the Beast stars Luke Evans and Josh Gad for a new series tracking the exploits of Gaston and LeFou in the time before the live-action reboot of the beloved animated classic. Currently envisioned as a limited-run event series, the project will hail from Once Upon a Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who obviously have a good deal of experience turning fairy tale characters into compelling TV — and even tying into Disney’s theatrical priorities to do so. Gad, who played Disney’s first openly-gay protagonist (but drew fire for keeping his sexuality completely silent) in LeFou, will have a good deal of creative input, serving as a writer and producer on episodes of the show.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the as-yet-untitled series “will be a six-episode musical event, with composer Alan Menken in talks to return as well. Sources say the project, which is currently in the early development stage, will take place well before the events of the film and also expand theBeauty and the Beast universe. No other stars from the film — like Emma Watson and Dan Stevens — are currently attached, though sources say there is a possibility that they could pop in for a guest spot.”
Kitsis, Horowitz, and Gad had previously been attached to write and produce The Muppets Live Another Day, an eight-episode miniseries that would have served as a direct sequel to the 1984 movie Muppets Take Manhattan. When the trio departed the project, it ceased to exist, although Disney+ still has plans for The Muppets in the form of Muppets Now, an improvisational comedy show featuring the puppet troupe.
While creative differences were cited as the reason for leaving The Muppets behind, it seems those differences were either with Disney+ or Muppets Studios, because the three got along well enough during preparation for that project that they jumped right from there to the world of Beauty and the Beast.
The project will represent the second time Disney+ has brought the company’s live-action adaptations of classic animated movies to the streaming world, following the Lady and the Tramp movie, which was part of the Disney+ library at launch. It also represents the latest in a series of TV projects at Disney+ designed to exploit existing Disney IP, including Muppets Now, The Sandlot, Turner & Hooch, and the planned revival of The Mighty Ducks, which will bring Emilio Estevez back to the property.