Luke Evans and Josh Gad have expressed their devastation over the news that the Beauty and the Beast prequel series has been put on hold indefinitely on Disney Plus, just days after it was announced that Rita Ora was joining the cast.
The TV show was supposed to see the actors reprise their roles as Gaston and LeFou respectively, having previously played the characters in the 2017 film with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.
While production on the spin-off was supposed to begin in spring this year, which was then moved to summer, it’s been said that it has now been delayed due to difficulties with scheduling with the cast and other creative aspects.
The eight-episode arc was due to follow Gaston and LeFou before the events of Beauty and the Beast, providing an origin story for the duo.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney Plus decided to pause the production amid the scheduling challenges, one of the factors being that some members of the cast had other commitments coming up.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Luke confirmed the news, writing: ‘This is a very sad message for us to tweet. We are devastated. Goodbye, for now, from Gaston and Le fou.’
Frozen star Josh also responded saying: ‘Sadly, ‘Tis true. We tried to make it all work but under the gun it wasn’t meant to be… for now.
He continued: ‘These characters and this story will live on, but sometimes the best intentions & reality collide & nothing can be done.’
In a subsequent tweet, Josh said that they ‘truly hope we get to make it when our schedules allow’.
In a social media post shared on February 7, Rita expressed her excitement over joining the cast, writing: ‘I can’t keep the secret any longer! I’m beyond excited to be joining the cast of the Beauty and the Beast prequel series!
‘As a child, I remember watching Beauty and the Beast with my family over and over and immediately falling in love with the music and characters.’
She also shared a throwback picture of herself as a child, writing: ‘Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined joining this fairytale world.’
Hawkeye star Fra Fee shared his happiness over being a part of the show, tweeting in January: ‘Thrilled to be joining this. The wee lad who watched the beast turn into the prince repeatedly on VHS is even more so.’