Disney+ Officially Greenlights "Beauty And The Beast" Limited Musical Series
Josh Gad And Luke Evans Reprise Roles As Lefou And Gaston, And Briana Middleton Joins Cast As Tilly
Gad, Edward Kitsis And Adam Horowitz Will Serve As Co-Showrunners; Liesl Tommy Set To Direct The First Episode
Award-Winning Alan Menken To Compose Original Soundtrack
BURBANK, Calif. (June 15, 2021) - As fans worldwide celebrate the 30th anniversary of the beloved animated 1991 classic, Disney+ announced today the greenlight of a limited musical series, "Beauty and the Beast" (working title) from Disney Branded Television and ABC Signature. An eight-episode prequel to the 2017 live-action film, "Beauty and the Beast" will star Luke Evans ("The Alienist") and Josh Gad ("Frozen 2"), reprising their roles as Gaston and LeFou (Louie), and introduce Briana Middleton ("The Tender Bar") as Louie's stepsister, Tilly. "Beauty and the Beast'' is developed, executive-produced and written by Gad, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz ("Once Upon a Time"), each serving as a co-showrunner. The series' creative team also includes Tony Award-nominated director Liesl Tommy ("Eclipsed," "Respect"), who has come on board as an executive producer and will direct the first episode. The project will feature an original soundtrack from the EGOT Award-winning composer Alan Menken, who will also serve as executive producer, and lyrics for the first episode will be by Oscar-nominee Glenn Slater ("Tangled"). Production will begin in spring 2022.
Set in the iconic kingdom of "Beauty and the Beast" years before the Beast and Belle's epic romance, the series will follow Gaston and LeFou as they set off with LeFou's step-sister, Tilly, 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," commented 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."
"For three decades, this tale as old as time has inspired generations of fans around the world," stated Michael Paull, president, Disney+ and ESPN+. "We can't wait to welcome our guests back to the magical and musical world of "Beauty and the Beast" for an all new chapter with LeFou, Gaston, and a fantastic new cast of characters."
Gad, whose recent credits include starring roles in "Avenue 5," "Marshall" and "Central Park," is currently in production on Peacock series "Wolf Like Me." Evans is currently filming the lead role in "Echo 3," the Apple drama series for Mark Boal and was recently cast as the lead role in Hulu's "Nine Perfect Strangers." Middleton will be making her feature film debut in Amazon Studios' forthcoming George Clooney-directed adaptation of "The Tender Bar," based on the memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winning Writer J.R. Moehringer and is currently shooting "The Last Will and Testament of Charles Abernathy" for Netflix.
"Beauty and the Beast" is executive produced by Gad, Kitsis, Horowitz, Menken and Tommy and produced by Evans. Gad, Kitsis and Horowitz are co-showrunners and writers for the limited series. The soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records.
Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, along with The Simpsons and much more. In select international markets, it also includes the new general entertainment content brand, Star. The flagship direct-to-consumer streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ is part of the Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution segment. The service offers commercial-free streaming alongside an ever-growing collection of exclusive originals, including feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series, and short-form content. With unprecedented access to Disney's long history of incredible film and television entertainment, Disney+ is also the exclusive streaming home for the newest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as a standalone streaming service or as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. For more, visit disneyplus.com, or find the Disney+ app on most mobile and connected TV devices.
About Disney Branded Television
Disney Branded Television encompasses the creative storytellers and production teams within Disney General Entertainment Content, including Disney Television Animation, who are responsible for Disney-branded television series, movies and other programming spanning live-action, animated and unscripted formats. The group fuels The Walt Disney Company's Disney+ streaming platform and branded networks Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior with content geared toward kids, tweens, teens and families that is imaginative, aspirational and reflective of their world and experiences. Disney Branded Television has created some of the company's most iconic and award-winning programming and franchises, including Emmy(R) Award-winning hit series "Elena of Avalor," "Wizards of Waverly Place" and short-form series "Mickey Mouse"; Peabody Award-winning "Doc McStuffins"; and history-making franchise "High School Musical," spanning 15 years, as well as the blockbuster Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) franchise, comprising over 100 titles. In 2020, Disney Channels collectively garnered an industry-leading nine Daytime Emmys.
About ABC Signature
One of the Disney Television Studios, ABC Signature is a global leader in the development, production and distribution of entertainment content across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms. The studio produces many of ABC Entertainment's most significant hits, including "Grey's Anatomy," "Station 19" and "black-ish"; and co-productions "The Good Doctor," "A Million Little Things," "The Rookie," "Home Economics" and late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" ABC Signature's returning and upcoming series include "Godfather of Harlem" for EPIX; Hulu's "Dollface," and co-production "Woke; "grown-ish" for Freeform; and "The Wilds" for Amazon. The Studio produced "Little Fires Everywhere" for Hulu, which generated more hours of viewing during its original run than any other Hulu drama series - past or present. For streaming service Disney +, series include "The Mighty Ducks" and "Big Shot."