Briana Middleton has been cast in a key role for the upcoming Beauty and the Beast prequel series. The musical TV show is going to focus on Gaston, the villain from the movie, and his sidekick, Le Fou. Both Luke Evans and Josh Gad will be reprising their roles from the film.
Briana Middleton will be appearing as a new character named Tilly, who is the step-sister of Gaston. This marks one of Middleton's first major television roles. Middleton will also be starring in the upcoming Amazon-Sony film The Tender Bar alongside Ben Affleck and Tye Sheridan.
The Gaston prequel series first came to light in March 2020. Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis will serve as co-writers and co-showrunners. Gad will also be co-writing the series along with starring in it. In addition, the series will also be a live-action musical with new songs written by Alan Menken. Menken is a songwriting legend for Disney who also wrote the music for Beauty and the Beast. He wrote a few new songs as well for the live-action remake in 2017. Evans shared his excitement for the upcoming project in a July 2020 interview with Collider.
"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," Evans said. "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."
Evans also mentioned that the first three episodes were written and he already heard some of Menken's music. "The second and third episodes have been written and we've heard some of the music by Alan Menken," Evans said. "We're just so honored to have him on board, writing the music, which is extraordinary, in itself."
The series will also be produced by ABC Signature Studios Co-showrunners Horowitz and Kitsis previously worked with ABC on Once Upon A Time. The series featured a wide array of Disney characters including Elsa, Snow White, Captain Hook, Prince Charming, and even Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
2017's Beauty and the Beast was a box office smash, grossing over $1.2 billion worldwide. It's one of the most successful live-action remakes Disney has made so far. The film starred Dan Stevens and Emma Watson in the lead roles, with a star-studded cast overall including Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, and Kevin Kline. The film received mostly positive reviews with a 71% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and many reviews praised Evans and Gad for being scene-stealers.
The Gaston prequel series doesn't have a release date thus far, but it is currently in development. We may just learn what makes Gaston such an evil narcissist. With new music from Menken, this should be something on every Disney fan's watchlist, especially if they love the music from Beauty and the Beast.