10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Beauty and the Beast' Prequel Series in the Works at Disney+ (Exclusive)
Gaston and LeFou are getting an origin story.
Streaming service Disney+ is teaming with Once Upon a Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz as well as stars Josh Gad and Luke Evans for a Beauty and the Beast prequel limited series to the 2017 feature film in which the latter pair starred.
The untitled limited series will be a six-episode musical event, with composer Alan Menken in talks to return as well. Sources say the project, which is currently in the early development stage, will take place well before the events of the film and also expand the Beauty and the Beast universe. No other stars from the film — like Emma Watson and Dan Stevens — are currently attached, though sources say there is a possibility that they could pop in for a guest spot.
Kitsis and Horowitz will serve as showrunners alongside Gad. Evans, Gad as well as Kitsis and Horowitz will all executive produce. Gad, Kitsis and Horowitz will all write scripts. ABC Signature Studios is the studio on the series. (It's worth noting that Kitsis and Horowitz briefly explored Beauty and the Beast during their time running ABC's Disney-themed drama Once Upon a Time, with Robert Carlyle's Rumpelstiltskin playing the Beast, while Emilie de Ravin was Belle.)
Sources say the Beauty and the Beast prequel stemmed from Kitsis and Horowitz's time working with Gad on the scrapped Muppets Live Another Day comedy series that was in the works for months at Disney+. The trio created the project, which was to be an eight-episode limited series that took place after the events of Muppets Take Manhattan. Conversations about the untitled Beauty and the Beast prequel began shortly after the trio decided to depart Muppets.
Reps for Disney+ and ABC Studios declined comment.
Released in 2017, the live-action Beauty and the Beast feature grossed more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. This is the latest Disney intellectual property to get the TV series treatment for Disney+, joining a growing slate of Marvel and Star Wars titles as well as Pixar's Monsters, Inc., High School Musical, the stalled Lizzie McGuire, The Sandlot, Turner & Hooch and The Mighty Ducks, among others.
For their part, Kitsis and Horowitz are running the Apple anthology Amazing Stories, which debuts Friday on the TV+ platform. The duo have a sizable overall deal at ABC Studios.