Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad) are returning for a prequel to Beauty and the Beast on Disney+. The two were one of the highlights of Disney’s uneven live-action remake of their animated classic. The movie lacked the magic of the animated film. Nonetheless, audiences loved it and the film made over 1.2 billion dollars worldwide. After the global success of the movie, it didn’t take Disney long to announce a prequel.
The prequel is titled Small Town. Josh Gad (watch him in The Comedians), as well as Once Upon a Time creators and former Lost writers, Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, created the series. Back in June, Evans provided Beauty and the Beast fans an update on the show’s progress. “Now, we’re in full-fledged development,” he told Collider. “The second and third episodes have been written and we’ve heard some of the music by Alan Menken. We’re just so honored to have him on board writing the music, which is extraordinary in itself. We feel so lucky to have this talented group of people creating a story about two much loved and much-hated characters, but that’s the excitement. There are a lot of questions about, where we will start? What we will tell? Who are these people? When you visit them, where will they be? So, it’s going to be a really fun experience. Me and Josh are literally vibrating with excitement to shoot it.”
All we really do know about the story is that it will focus on Gaston and LeFou’s relationship. Those two provided the biggest laughs in the film. Say what you will about the movie, but Evans and Gad were a well-matched and charismatic pair. Unfortunately, that relationship drew controversy when director Bill Condon said there was an “exclusively gay moment” for LeFour. He was clearly in love with Gaston. As a result, a drive-in theater in Alabama announced it wouldn’t show the movie because of that scene. The owners of the theater, the Henagar Drive-in Theater, said the scene went against their “religious beliefs.”
In the end, that exclusively gay moment — which are almost nonexistent in modern Disney films — was just LeFou dancing with one of Gaston’s henchmen. That was it. It was a letdown for fans and not the moment of representation audiences had hope for. In the live-action show, it’s doubtful Disney will portray Gaston’s right hand man as gay.
Disney+ had Love, Victor, based on the book and the wonderful film, Love, Simon, and Disney ultimately handed it off to Hulu instead. Disney+ dropped the show because of its “depiction of alcohol consumption, marital issues, and sexual exploration,” as if the company did not read the scripts or see their own movie which had all those coming-of-age staples in the first place. Based on Disney’s handling of Love, Victor, don’t expect Small Town to be an LGBTQ-friendly series.
Legendary songwriter Alan Menken is returning to the world of Beauty and the Beast. Menken is the award-winning musician behind the songs in The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Hercules, and more for Disney. Menken will work on music for all six episodes of the series, which still doesn’t have a release date. Considering Small Town will likely shoot next year, a late 2021 or early 2022 release on Disney+ is plausible.
As hardcore Beauty and the Beast fans wait for more Gaston and LeFou hamming it up and singing along together, Condon’s film is currently available to stream on Disney+.