Beauty and the Beast prequel

Josh Gad, who played LeFou in Disney’s 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, is developing a Beauty and the Beast prequel series for Disney+ which will reunite Gad with his co-star Luke Evans and explore the origins of Gaston and LeFou.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Evans and Gad, who played the manly soldier Gaston and his pitiful sidekick LeFou, respectively, in the 2017 film, will star in “a six-episode musical event” for Disney’s streaming service which will feature music from Disney legend Alan Menken, who won an Oscar for Best Original Score for the 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast and also returned for the live-action version. According to the report, the show “will take place well before the events of the film and also expand the Beauty and the Beast universe,” leading me to think that it will at least partially involve Gaston and LeFou’s time fighting in the war (in the live-action version, it was more explicit that Gaston was a war hero in his town).

Gad co-created the series with Once Upon a Time creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis (who are currently showrunning the revival of Amazing Stories over at AppleTV+). The three of them worked together on a Muppets TV project for Disney that never came to pass, but when that project fell apart, they began tossing around ideas for this prequel show. The trio will write all of the episodes and serve as co-showrunners, and they’ll all executive produce alongside Luke Evans. Evidently, there are no current plans to have characters like Emma Watson‘s Belle or Dan Stevens‘ Beast return, but the door is being left open for guest spots.

2017’s Beauty and the Beast made over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office, and earned its fair share of headlines over its “exclusively gay moment” featuring LeFou – which, like almost all of Disney’s LGBTQ moments in recent years, ended up feeling like a pandering, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment that allowed the studio to feel good about being progressive while not going far enough to offend any audience members who would find something like that offensive. I expect more of the same in this prequel series, but who knows: maybe without all of the attention and financial pressure that comes with a major movie release, the studio will let Gad actually explore that aspect of his character in a meaningful way this time.

Here’s hoping this show also gives us the origin story for Monsieur Toilette, since the movie’s most voracious fans have been clamoring for that for three years now. (Narrator voice: they haven’t.) At the very least, it should be better than this new Beauty and the Beast sing-along that debuted at Disney World’s EPCOT Center a few months ago:

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