Luke Evans ‘devastated’ after series prequel to Beauty and the Beast shelved
Welsh actor Luke Evans has said he is “devastated” about the news that a Beauty and the Beast prequel series for Disney+ will no longer go ahead.
Set before the events of the 2017 live-action film, the eight-episode prequel, was announced last year, with Luke Evans and co-star Josh Gad due to reprise their roles as Gaston and LeFou, and LeFou’s sister Tilly being played by Briana Middleton.
It was due to be set years before the Beast and Belle’s romance and would follow Gaston, LeFou and Tilly set off on an unexpected journey, after a surprising revelation from her past comes to light.
Evans shared his disappointment that the show will no longer go ahead, writing on Twitter: “Sadly, ‘Tis true. We tried to make it all work but under the gun it wasn’t meant to be… for now.
“These characters and this story will live on, but sometimes the best intentions & reality collide & nothing can be done.
“This is a very sad message for us to tweet. We are devastated. Goodbye, for now, from Gaston and Le fou.”
Gad added: “But… we truly hope we get to make it when our schedules allow.”
According to various entertainment reports, filming was pushed back from the spring to the summer in the hopes of capturing the action in glorious weather.
However, that timeline meant that creative elements would not be ready in time and presented scheduling challenges for cast members committed to other projects, and pushing it further into the autumn would have set the production up against unpredictable ‘gloomy UK weather.’
In the wake of the pandemic, the scheduling of actors, creative teams and filming location availability has been particularly challenging according to industry professionals.
Under these increasing pressures, Disney+ made the decision to put the series on hold for the time being.
Disney had previously announced that the song lyrics for the first episode would be by Oscar-nominee Glenn Slater, who previously worked on Tangled.
Alan Menken, the composer behind the 1991 animated film was scheduled to create the soundtrack for the series.
When the live-action Beauty and the Beast was released in 2017, it grossed more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
The prequel spin off series was hoped to become the latest from the Disney stable to be released on television streaming sites following the successful trend of Marvel and Star Wars titles as well as Pixar’s Monsters, Inc., High School Musical, National Treasure, The Santa Clause, Willow, Swiss Family Robinson, Percy Jackson, The Sandlot, Turner & Hooch and The Mighty Ducks, among others.
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