Disney+ have shelved plans for a Beauty And The Beast prequel series, days after Rita Ora announced she’d joined the cast.
The eight-part show, which was set to be based on the 2017 live action film, was set to focus on the villainous Gaston and his sidekick LeFou, and would tell the tale of how the pair met.
However, actor Luke Evans have now confirmed that after multiple production delays, the series has been shelved.
Shelved: Disney+ have shelved plans for a Beauty And The Beast prequel series, days after Rita Ora announced she’d joined the cast
It was first reported by Deadline that the show had been put on hold, with sources telling the publication that creative elements such as the script and music weren’t coming together, causing multiple delays.
Filming had already been pushed from spring until summer, but after it was feared the project could be delayed further, bosses decided to put the show on hold.
Sources added that delaying filming to autumn was not an option due to actors’ availability and weather concerns.
Gutted: It comes just days after Rita Ora took to Instagram to revealed she’d been cast in the series, sharing a snap posing in front of the Disney+ logo
Star Luke, who was set to reprise his role as Gaston confirmed the news on Twitter, writing: ‘Sadly, ‘Tis tru, 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.’
Nope: The eight-part show was set to focus on the villainous Gaston and his sidekick LeFou, but after multiple delays has been put on hold
Sad: After the news was first reported, Luke Evans, who played Gaston, tweeted he was ‘devastated’ the show had been dropped
Beauty and the Beast’s spin-off was picked up for series with an eight-episode in June 2021, with Briana Middleton set to star as LeFou’s stepsister, Tilly, and Josh both starring and acting as a showrunner alongside Once Upon a Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.
The series was set to follow Gaston (Evans) and LeFou (Gad) as they set off with Tilly (Middleton), 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.
On Monday Rita took to Instagram to reveal she’d landed a role in the prequel series, and shared adorable childhood snaps of herself dressed as Belle.
Troubles: Filming had already been pushed from spring until summer, but after it was feared the project could be delayed further, bosses decided to put the show on hold
Rita was set to play a fugitive with surprising abilities who carries a secret that could potentially affect an entire kingdom in the eight-episode limited musical series.
In her caption, the Poison songstress began: ‘I can’t keep the secret any longer! I’m beyond excited to be be joining the cast of the Beauty and the Beast prequel series!
‘As a child, I remember watching Beauty and the Beast with my family over and over and immediately falling in love with the music and characters.
‘Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined joining this fairytale world.
Giddy: On Monday Rita took to Instagram to reveal she’d landed a role in the prequel series, playing ‘a fugitive with surprising abilities who carries a secret’
‘To everyone that helped make this happen, I am forever grateful. Thank you to Disney+, my CAA squad – Dan, Joella, and Tracy – Shari, and my management family.
‘Lately I just feel like all my dreams are coming true! Life is feeling like a Disney movie!’
Even before the Emma Watson reboot was released in 2017, Josh’s character LeFou made significant waves for being identified as somewhat queer, after he is seen briefly dancing with a gender-bending featured male extra at the end of the film.
The 2017 live-action Beauty and the Beast grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, leading to follow up billion-dollar-earning live-action reboots Aladdin and Lion King last year, with more on the way.
Adorable: She struggled to contain her excitement as she gushed about ‘joining the fairytale world’, while sharing a set of throwback snaps of herself dressed as Belle