Gaston is Back: Luke Evans Signs for 'Beauty and the Beast' Television Prequel

Sunday June 20, 2021
Originally published on June 15, 2021

Luke Evans
Luke Evans  (Source:Instagram)

As Luke Evans was showing his Pride in his Versace rainbow-trimmed underwear, he was closing a deal on the long-awaited "Beauty and the Beast" prequel.

"Disney+ has officially greenlighted Beauty and the Best (working title), an eight-episode limited musical series, a prequel to the 2017 live-action film," Deadline has learned. "The movie's Luke Evans and Josh Gad are reprising their roles as Gaston and LeFou (Louie) in the series, joined by newcomer Briana Middleton (The Tender Bar) as the female lead, Louie's stepsister, Tilly."

The series will follow Gaston (Evans), LeFou (Gad), and Tilly (Middleton) on an unexpected journey after learning a surprising revelation. "For anyone who's ever wondered how a brute like Gaston and a goof like LeFou could have ever become friends and partners, or how a mystical enchantress came to cast that fateful spell on the prince-turned-beast, this series will finally provide those answers...and provoke a whole new set of questions," said President and Chief Creative Officer for Disney Branded Television Gary Marsh.

The first episode is to be directed by Tony-nominated director Liesl Tommy, with EGOT-winning composer Alan Menken, who scored both the 1991 and 2017 "Beauty and the Beast" movies, wrote the soundtrack for the series and lyrics for the first episode by Oscar nominee Glenn Slater ("Tangled"). Tommy and Menken will executive produce, with Evans producing.

The "Beauty and the Beast" role marks the latest project for the busy Evans, who is currently being promoted for an Emmy Award for his role in "The Pembrokeshire Murders" and is set to star in the upcoming live-action "Pinocchio," which is currently in production. As Deadline reported, Evans has also signed to star in Apple's "Echo 3," an action-thriller drama series, from Oscar-winning producer Mark Boal ("The Hurt Locker"), Apple Studios, and Keshet Studios. Additionally, Evans is a rumored frontrunner to portray the next James Bond, which would mark the first time an out actor has been cast in the iconic role.

Evans recently finished shooting a lead ensemble role in Hulu's limited series "Nine Perfect Strangers," starring opposite Melissa McCarthy and Nicole Kidman. Evans, who plays a gay divorce lawyer in the series, said it was "nice" to portray a gay character onscreen for the first time. "It was a lovely character to delve into and to calibrate and deliver this complex person. But, yes, it was nice to play a gay character after all these years of doing roles on stage and screen," EDGE reported him saying in March.