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 reprising their roles as Gaston and LeFou (Louie) in the series (with Evans producing)- with Briana Middleton (The Tender Bar) as the female lead- Louie's stepsister, Tilly. Since that time, one of the questions fans have been asking is if LeFou's (who was revealed to be gay in the 2017 film) coming-out story will be addressed. Thankfully, Variety went right to the source to get some answers- or at least try to get some answers- from Gad, who was on the set of his Peacock romantic comedy series Wolf Like Me.
"Beauty and the Best" (w/t): 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.
"You're going to have to tune in when this show airs to see what we're working up, but in the process of working on it, we're asking ourselves every relevant question about these characters and endeavoring to do right by them and by this world," Gad explained. "I think that we have origin stories here that are unbelievably exciting because they're unexpected. And I think 'expect the unexpected' is all I can really say. And not just with regard to LeFou and Gaston but to a lot of the new characters that we're introducing." One thing Gad could reveal is the "pressure" he's feeling to get back into shape after checking out Evans' Instagram posts showing off his look. "It requires me to get in the gym fairly soon because I've seen pictures of my co-star online. And let's just say it ain't great what I'm working with in terms of the most shredded man in show business."
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:
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