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Beauty and the Beast
Credit: Disney

Before Its Cancellation, Disney+ Series Caused Behind The Scenes Screaming Matches

In 2017, Disney released a live-action remake of the incredibly popular 1991 film, Beauty and the Beast. The film starred Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, and Josh Gad as LeFou. The film was nearly a shot-for-shot remake, and audiences couldn’t get enough. They loved seeing some of their favorite characters brought to life once again.

Beauty and the Beast

Credit: Disney

Beauty and the Beast was so successful that, in 2020, at Disney Investor Day, the company announced that they were actively working on a prequel series that was bound for Disney+. The series would focus on the life of Gaston and LeFou before they met Belle in the provincial town they all lived in. Details were minimum at the time, but over the years, a lot more information was given.

Beauty and the Beast

Credit: Disney

Both Luke Evans and Josh Gad were set to return to their roles of Gaston and LeFou. Alan Menken — the original composer for both the animated and live-action films — was also going to return. We also learned that a brand-new character would be introduced into the world of Beauty and the Beast. A young girl named Tilly — LeFou’s stepsister — would be a part of the story. She would be the reason Gaston and LeFou set off on a big adventure.

Beauty and the Beast

Credit: Disney

Things seemed to be on a roll — production start dates were announced, casting was nearly complete, and a show title — Little Town — was even announced. Then it all came to a grinding halt. The Hollywood Reporter published an article that said, due to things being pushed back because of the pandemic, scheduling conflicts had arisen. The show was being put on indefinite hold.

Josh Gad confirmed Disney’s decision in a disappointed tweet.

Sadly, ‘Tis true. 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.

Even though everyone was shocked to hear that the highly-anticipated show was not going to happen, things behind the scenes were less than optimal. According to a new report from Puck, the studio did not like the second or third scripts submitted by Gad and series creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz — the same men responsible for the hit ABC series Once Upon a Time. The studio was also reportedly not happy with the music being created by Alan Menken.

Alan Menken

Credit: D23

Things were apparently so rocky that there were actual screaming matches that happened. According to Puck:

Sets were being built in London, the cast had been secured, and Disney’s film group had already pushed Gad’s start date on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel to accommodate Beauty. So Peter Rice, who oversees the Disney Branded Television unit charged with exploiting its I.P., and Dana Walden, whose purview includes the ABC Signature studio, were forced to either swallow a chunk of money now or risk wasting a lot more on a potentially inferior product that would generate negative headlines because of the Beauty legacy. Making that call is their job, even if the creators were super upset (lots of screaming matches behind the scenes on this one, I’m told, especially since this trio’s other Disney+ TV project, based on the Muppets, was also scrapped in 2019). At least Gad and co-star Luke Evans are pay-or-play, according to sources, meaning they are owed for six guaranteed episodes, a rarity in TV.

Beauty and the Beast

Credit: Disney

While Little Town may have fallen through, Disney fans can look forward to seeing Gad portray Nick Szalinski in the new Disney series, Shrunk. In the series, Gad will play Wayne Szalinski’s now-grown son, Nick. Nick is following in his father’s scientific footsteps as he grieves the death of his mother, Diane. The series is also set to see the return of veteran actor, Rick Moranis. Moranis has been out of the spotlight for years but will return to reprise the role of Wayne Szalinski.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!