Even a tale as old as time wasn’t enough it seems to keep one Disney+ project’s wheels turning. Little Town, the Beauty and the Beast prequel series to Disney’s 2017 live-action rendition of the classic fairy tale has shut down production. Set to reprise a few popular actors from the film, Little Town looked promising on paper but failed to impress Disney, who felt the project’s countless halts, pushbacks, and lack of panache ultimately led to the studio halting the project indefinitely.
First confirmed last summer, the Beauty and the Beast series was set to star walking Disney mascot, Josh Gad, and Luke Evans as they reprise their roles as Lefou and Gaston, respectively. As momentum for the project escalated reports recently announced musician Rita Ora, Briana Middleton, Fra Fee, and Jelani Alladin were also cast in supporting roles. Furthermore, the series touted Alan Menken, the original animated Beauty and the Beast composer to produce the music for the show. Even the script teased a promising story ahead, as Disney’s own Josh Gad had teamed up with Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz to write the show. Kitsis and Horowitz were the team behind ABC’s hit Disney fantasy drama Once Upon a Time.
It appears that there wasn’t one simple reason for halting the Beauty and the Beast series. To start, reports of production schedules falling behind the planned timeline culminated. The shooting schedule had already been pushed back from this coming spring to summer, and apparently, the music for the show had fallen behind as well. But possibly the biggest caveat for Little Town was from reports suggesting that the scripts for the episodes simply did not produce the same pizazz that was expected to roll over from the success of 2017’s Beauty and the Beast live-action rendition.
The Beauty and the Beast series was slated to be an origin story for the notorious villain, Gaston, and his dumbfounded lackey, LaFou. While it’s surely disappointing that we may never get to see the beloved duo reprise the roles they successfully brought to life in 2017, the halted project isn’t unusual given the state of film and TV today. In just short of three years since launching, Disney+ has seen its fair share of setbacks and cancellations of series that never made it to the light of day. A Muppet series, along with a Lizzie McGuire revival and a fairytale drama titled Book of Enchantment are just a few axed Disney+ series.
As for the dynamic duo at the center of the Beauty and the Beast series, the stars are openly upset over Disney’s decisions. Taking to Twitter, Luke Evans confirmed the reports expressing how devastated he and Josh were at the news. As for Disney frontman Josh Gad, the voice of Frozen’s Olaf also shared the crushing blow while managing to slip in a comedic jab telling his friend they should get drunk and film each other singing Alan Menken’s songs. Both actors still seem on board, however, if the Disney devs do ever end up changing their minds.