Disney+'s Beauty and the Beast prequel series has been shelved following creative differences. The news was confirmed on Twitter by series writer and almost star Josh Gad. The series, which had already announced casting, was to begin filming this summer.
According to Deadline, the decision was due to scripts and original music not coming together in the direction expected, alongside missed deadlines. With a number of creative elements up in the air and the shoot’s start already delayed, a decision was made to put the project on hold.
Luke Evans and Gad were to headline the prequel, reprising their roles as Gaston and LeFou from the 2017 live action film. Briana Middleton, Fra Fee, Jelani Alladin, and Rita Ora had also been cast.
Beauty and the Beast was developed and written by Gad and Once Upon a Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz; the trio also served as executive producers/co-showrunners.
“Sadly, ‘tis true,” Gad wrote on Twitter. “We tried to make it all work but under the gun it wasn’t meant to be… for now. These characters and this story will live on, but sometimes the best intentions and reality collide and nothing can be done.”
Maybe I’ll come out to Columbia and we can drink together and just shoot footage of us drunk in Bogotá singing Alan Menken‘s new songs. https://t.co/kX2egocyfm— Josh Gad (@joshgad) February 10, 2022
Set in the iconic universe of Beauty and the Beast years before the Beast and Belle’s epic romance, the series was to follow Gaston (Evans) and LeFou (Gad) as they set off with LeFou’s step-sister, Tilly (Middleton), after a surprising revelation from her past comes to light, sending the unlikely trio off on an unexpected journey filled with romance, comedy, and adventure. While the mysteries of the past are uncovered and the dangers of the present grow, old friends and new enemies reveal that this familiar kingdom harbors many secrets.
Tony nominated director Liesl Tommy was to direct the first episode. EGOT-winning composer Alan Menken, who scored both the 1991 and 2017 movies, had been selected to pen songs for the series, with lyrics for the first episode by Oscar-nominee Glenn Slater.