No one stars in prequels like Gaston!
Disney is currently developing a live-action Beauty and the Beast prequel musical series for its streaming platform Disney+. The storyline will follow the story as laid out by the live-action remake of Disney’s animated classic, which was released in 2017. The film starred Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. Despite the film’s somewhat lukewarm reception, currently holding a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, it was a financial success, earning back $1.2 billion worldwide against a $160 million budget. With the numbers more-or-less in their favor, Disney is planning on delving a little deeper into this newer portrayal of the fantasy classic.
However, the prequel series won’t focus on the bookish would-be princess Belle and her moody, beastly prince. The upcoming series will focus on the backstory of the villain, Gaston, with Gad and Evans confirmed to be reprising their roles as LeFou and Gaston, respectively.
Compared to the character’s portrayal in the animated version of the film, the live-action Gaston had deeper backstory lending motivation for his villainous tendencies. Where in the animated film Gaston was simply a well-known hunter, in the live-action film, Gaston is a soldier and a war hero, whose actions have earned him respect and tolerance from the townsfolk, occasionally begrudging though it may be. Due to his profession, this version of Gaston is much more willing to commit violent acts against other people, such as when he throws Belle’s father to a pack of wolves instead of trying to have him institutionalized.
“He probably does suffer from PTSD, which he manages to keep under wraps because he has people like the villagers and LeFou and the girls who puff him up and make him feel sexy and wanted,” Evans said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “But below that is a broken human being. He’s jaded, and the second he realises that he’s not going to get what he wants, this military creature comes out of him.”
In an interview with Variety, Alan Menken, who has been confirmed to be on composing duty for the upcoming prequel, accidentally revealed the title of the series: “The Little Town.” The title is a nod to the famous opening song “Belle” in both the animated classic and the live-action films.
Watson is expected to make special appearances throughout the series, but she will not be the main focus. Aside from reprising his role, Gad will also co-write and executive produce the series. Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz will act as the showrunners.