What the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Disney+ Prequel with Luke Evans and Josh Gad Needs to Have
The Hollywood Reporter reported that Disney+ is developing a prequel for the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake. Luke Evans and Josh Gad would reportedly return as Gaston and LeFou. Once Upon a Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz would showrun the series too. They just executive produced the Amazing Stories revival for Apple TV+. Gad would also co-write the show.
The show would be an origin story, a musical and run for six episodes. Beauty and the Beast composer Alan Menken is already in talks too. Here’s what a Beauty and the Beast prequel series needs to have.
Luke Evans can go back to Gaston’s buffoonery before ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Gaston is the villain of Beauty and the Beast. His aggressive courtship of Belle (Emma Watson) would not fly in modern day, and should never have been accepted. Eventually, Gaston leads the charge to “Kill the Beast” and that’s poignant. The lovable incorrigible goofball will eventually become dangerous and deadly, so it’s important to nip those behaviors in the bud.
Well, Gaston got thoroughly nipped in Beauty and the Beast. As long as the prequel takes place long before he ever met Belle, Gaston can go back to being the lovable goofball. He’s a narcissist, sure, but an entertaining one and Evans was magnificent in those earlier scenes. Six episodes’ worth of that is worth a Disney+ subscription.
Josh Gad can really explore LeFou’s romance
Beauty and the Beast made LeFou the first openly gay character in a Disney film. LGBTQ viewers were understandably disappointed that the film didn’t pay more attention to LeFou’s sexuality. So a series would be the perfect medium through which to explore LeFou going on dates and dealing with persecution in his French society. Eh? Eh?
That’s probably a long shot. Considering Disney+ thought the Love, Simon series Love, Victor was too edgy for their family audience, it’s doubtful they will use a Disney branded show to go there. At least give LeFou more subtext.
More Menken music!
It’s good news that Disney+ is having talks with Menken. Though his collaborator Howard Ashman passed away during the writing of Aladdin, Menken continues their tradition with Disney music. He writes new songs for the live-action as he did for the Broadway shows like Beauty and the Beast.
Musicals on television have become much more lucrative. Besides Glee with cover songs, there was Crazy Ex-Girlfriend with new originals every week, and that was on a weekly broadcast schedule. Now there’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, and six episodes of new music would be doable for Menken.
Also Gaston and LeFou only get a couple of songs in Beauty and the Beast. Evans was so magnificent singing “Gaston” that giving him new songs every week will be a treat. Of course Gad has plenty of musical experience from The Book of Mormon to the Frozen movies and the upcoming Apple TV+ Central Park. Give him more to sing too.
The Luke Evans/Josh Gad bromance
Beauty and the Beast was, obviously, about Belle and The Beast (Dan Stevens). They could only take so much time out of their story to spend on Gaston and LeFou. When they get their own series, it can be all about them.
Since this will be a prequel, it can be a bit of “When Gaston Met LeFou.” We can see how their bromance began. Maybe they weren’t friends at first. Maybe they had a will they/won’t they before the shenanigans we saw in Beauty and the Beast. Anything’s possible.