Three Days After It Was Announced That Rita Ora Joined The “Beauty and The Beast” Prequel, Disney+ Canceled It

February 11, 2022 / Posted by:

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast musical prequel series starring Luke Evans and Josh Gad as Gaston and his maybe-gay cohort LeFou is DEAD. On top of co-executive producing the show with Luke, Josh was also a writer on it, so the news probably hit him hard. But it may have hit Rita Ora harder because she was just announced as one of the show’s leads. The 8-episode series planned to start filming this summer, but Disney has pulled the plug over “creative reasons.”

Deadline says that the series was going to follow Gaston and LeFou as they go on a journey with LeFou’s stepsister, Tilly (played by Briana Middleton) when a “surprising revelation comes to light.” Probably nothing gay, but Disney promised it would be a journey filled with “romance, comedy, and adventure.” And this series really went all in, Tony Award-nominated director, Liesl Tommy, was going to direct the first episode, EGOT Award-winning composer, Alan Menken, was set to compose the soundtrack, and Oscar-nominee, Glenn Slater, was going to write the lyrics of the songs in the first episode.

The cancellation of that riveting journey comes just a few days after they cast Rita Ora as “a fugitive with surprising abilities who carries with her a secret that could potentially affect an entire kingdom.” And Rita was psyched. She revealed the news on Instagram:

Her co-star, Josh, commented on her Instagram, writing: “We are so beyond excited to have you. You are going to destroy this role.” And destroy it she has, as in it no longer exists. Josh confirmed on Twitter that the show is not moving forward for now:

Deadline’s sources say that the show isn’t moving forward for a few reasons, and to me, it sounds like they thought it was going to be terrible:

According to sources, the call not to proceed with the show was made for creative reasons, with the scripts and original music not coming together in the direction expected or running behind schedule. With a number of creative elements up in the air and the shoot’s start already pushed from early spring to summer, a decision was made to put the project on hold. Pushing filming further into the fall was not an option because of talent availability and weather concerns, sources said.

WEATHER CONCERNS! Jurassic World wrangled some stegosauruses during a whole pandemic and Disney goes: “It might rain, we can’t do Beauty & the Beast.” But this is the second version of this project that Disney has tried, and they intend to try again.

Poor Rita, maybe the next creative team will cast her too. Writing this post reminded me that she’s dating Taika Waititi so maybe he’ll be able to cheer her up. Maybe another three-way makeout session with Tessa Thompson for the paparazzi? I’m sure she’d be cheered up by that.

Pic: Disney

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