In a world where Disney’s various operations can seem like the work of an emotionless machine that must always be moving forward and can never be stopped, it’s surprising to see the studio take a step back and acknowledge that something isn’t working. Case in point: Deadline is reporting that Disney+ has (supposedly temporarily) canceled its plans for a prequel series based on the live-action Beauty And The Beast movie, with Deadline’s “sources” saying the scrips were “not coming together in the direction expected” and that the writing of original music was “running behind schedule.”
Filming had already been pushed from spring to summer because of these issues, and Deadline says they couldn’t even push it back further “because of talent availability and weather concerns.” That makes it seem kind of like it just won’t happen, but Disney is a powerful company, so it can probably make some actors shift their schedules around and force the atmosphere to shift some weather around. Deadline maintains that Disney still wants to do it, but “it is unclear whether the current creative auspices will remain involved.”
Speaking of the creative auspices, the show would’ve featured Luke Evans and Josh Gad reprising their roles from the Emma Watson movie as Gaston and LeFou, alongside Briana Middleton, Fra Fee, and Jelani Alladin. The show was written by Gad and Once Upon A Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (getting called up to the big leagues of Real Disney and not Meta-Offshoot Disney).
As for the songs, EGOT-holding Beauty And The Beast composer Alan Menken was supposed to be working on those, so the fact that they weren’t coming together or were taking too long does seem like a big issue for this. A show that almost has new Alan Menken songs is not as good as a show with finished Alan Menken songs. That’s Disney 101.