Luke Evans has been confirmed to reprise his role as Gaston for a Beauty and the Beast spin-off on Disney+.
The Little Town, which references the opening line in Belle from the original film, will focus on the origins of the hyper-masculine villain and his accident-prone sidekick LeFou.
Disney composer and songwriter Alan Menken, who recently joined the rarified group of EGOT winners (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony), revealed the title in an interview with Variety.
It will also see the return of Josh Gad as LeFou, who was confirmed to be gay in the 2017 live-action blockbuster when he danced with a man at the end of the film.
The moment only lasted a few seconds, but it was enough to get the movie banned or given an adult-only rating in several countries.
Because the series is based on origins of their characters, it would be a fantastic opportunity for Disney to explore LeFou’s sexuality further.
Last year during an interview Andy Cohen on SiriusXM, Gad affirmed that he is “so proud” of the moment and still doesn’t understand why it was such a big deal.
“Here’s what we decided, we decided that LeFou’s happy ending would be to dance with another man, [and] that became such a controversial thing apparently, even though it was three seconds of screen time,” he said.
“We never put a spotlight on it, we never meant to put a spotlight on it. I think the director Bill Condon was very proud of the moment and he made some comments about being very proud of it. [But] the movie speaks for itself, and that moment speaks for itself.”
Asked how the idea of LeFou being gay came about, Gad confirmed: “It was my pitch, that’s how I really wanted the movie to end. I was so amazed they let us do it.
“But again we never meant to shine a spotlight on it, we wanted the audience to just see it and take away from it what they would, and then it became this conflated, weird controversy when people realised what it was.”
Despite the unnecessary controversy and backlash from some viewers, Gad explained that he is “so proud” of the decision and that he hopes Disney continue to include LGBTQ characters in their movies.
“I was so proud of it, and I was so proud of the response, because in light of the fact that there were so many people [complaining], there were so many people who stood up and applauded that moment and were so excited about it,” he continued.
“I think there’s still a lot more work to be done in terms of equal representation, and I really hope Disney keeps finding more ways to do that.”
The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast received mixed reviews from critics, but became the highest-grossing live-action musical film of all time with $1.2 billion at the box office. It also starred Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast.