Call me cynical, but I’m starting to get very annoyed with the direction Disney is taking with their Disney+ service. Sure, I can understand them turning to Star Wars and Marvel for some of their original content. I mean, those properties were made to keep on going. But what about some of the other stuff they’re bringing to the table? A bunch of revivals of their original shows in addition to weird Disney+ spinoffs of their live-action adaptations? We’ve already heard about an Aladdin spinoff, but now we have concrete news of a Beauty and the Beast one.
I’m not joking. Beauty and the Beast will have a prequel series that will feature Gaston and LeFou. Because, after watching that live-action remake, the first thing I wondered was how these guys met, right? No? Yeah, me neither. But I guess this is happening.
According to THR, this show is coming from Once Upon a Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, in addition to Josh Gad. Gad will also serve as a writer and showrunner. Luke Evans will also be returning as Gaston. The show will last six episodes and will be a musical event, and even composer Alan Menken is in talks to lend his skills.
Perhaps most interesting is that Emma Watson and Dan Stevens are rumored to potentially show up in a guest spot, which I guess is cool.
Symptom Of A Larger Problem?
While I’m a huge Disney fan, I can’t help but feel like this whole thing feels…gross. Recently, I wrote a piece on how Disney doesn’t know what it wants Disney+ to be. It doesn’t know if it wants to be super family friendly or something that can also cater to an older audience. Drama surrounding productions like Lizzie McGuire and Love, Victor, was evidence of that. With something like this Beauty and the Beast spinoff gaining traction, it’s hard not to feel like they’re eschewing risk and going with easy family-friendly fodder. Maybe I should have seen this coming, but I can’t help but be disappointed.
Given that Disney+ is a streaming platform where smaller projects could thrive, I was hoping they’d allow more niche projects to take hold. Sure, they’d have to fit in with their family-friendly label, but at least they’d be unique in some way. But alas, Netflix and Hulu will continue to drive those kinds of projects, not Disney+. To me, that’s a damn shame, as there is plenty of rumor for nuance and risks in a family-friendly ecosystem. With Beauty and the Beast, it feels like they’re taking the easy way out.
Perhaps the only silver lining here is that this seems to be a project that came out of the creators, not at the behest of the House of Mouse. According to the report, Gad and the Once Upon a Time showrunners were working on a now-scrapped Muppets project. The trio worked well together and began discussing this Beauty and the Beast series after the Muppets series was scrapped. Since it’s more of a creator-focused vision, I can hope that it has a real narrative drive to it that could otherwise be missing.
What do you think of Disney+ getting a Gaston and LeFou prequel series? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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