What better way to mark the 30th anniversary of Disney's 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast than with the news that Disney+ has given an official green light to the long-in-development prequel (to the 2017 live-action film) series- and that's exactly what happened on Tuesday. The eight-episode limited musical series Beauty and the Best (working title) finds Luke Evans and Josh Gad are reprising their roles as Gaston and LeFou (Louie) in the series (with Evans producing), with Briana Middleton (The Tender Bar) set as the female lead- Louie's stepsister, Tilly. Developed and written by executive producers and co-showrunners Gad and Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz (Once Upon a Time), the series has tapped Tony Award-nominated director Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed) to direct the opening episode and executive produce- with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony award-winning composer Alan Menken (both "Beauty and the Beasts") writing the soundtrack and also executive producing, and lyrics for the first episode by Oscar-nominee Glenn Slater (Tangled). Stemming from Disney Branded Television and ABC Signature, the series is expected to start production in early 2022- now here's a look at the official series overview:
Set in the iconic kingdom of Beauty and the Beast years before the Beast and Belle's epic romance, the series will 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.
"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, Disney Branded Television. "There are few more precious gems in the Disney library than this iconic franchise, and this prequel is both a love letter to what's come before and its own spectacular adventure," said Jonnie Davis, president, ABC Signature. "Josh, Eddy, and Adam's vision gives us a window into the origin of Luke's Gaston and Josh's LeFou with the twist of a new partner in crime—Tilly, played by the luminous Briana Middleton. This dream team would not be complete without the genius Alan Menken returning to write even more glorious music for the franchise he helped create. We're so grateful to Gary, Ayo, Michael, and everyone at Disney Branded Television and Disney+ for their unwavering support. We cannot wait to start shooting."
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