Luke Evans ‘devastated’ as Beauty and the Beast prequel series shelved indefinitely

Beauty and the Beast Gaston LeFou

The Beauty and the Beast prequel series following iconic villain Gaston and his bumbling sidekick LeFou has been put on indefinite hold.

Despite rising excitement surrounding the Disney+ series, Luke Evans confirmed on Thursday (10 February) that production has been cancelled for the time being.

Explaining the sad news to fans on Twitter, the 42-year-old actor wrote: “Sadly, ‘Tis true. We tried to make it all work but under the gun it wasn’t meant to be… for now.

“These characters and this story will live on, but sometimes the best intentions & reality collide & nothing can be done.”

In another message, he stated: “This is a very sad message for us to tweet. We are devastated. Goodbye, for now, from Gaston and Le fou.”

His co-star Josh Gad provided a glimmer of hope as he added: “But… we truly hope we get to make it when our schedules allow.”

The surprising update came just days after singer Rita Ora announced she had been cast in the series.

Gad had previously confirmed plans to begin filming in the summer.

Back in June 2021, Disney+ officially greenlit an eight-episode run for the limited series which was set to serves as a prequel to the 2017 live-action Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Evans and Gad.

According to Variety, the show would follow Gaston and LeFou as they set off on an adventure with the sidekick’s step-sister Tilly (Brianna Middleton). As the trio set off on their journey, they encounter “old friends and new enemies”.

The Gaston prequel series might still go ahead at a later date (Disney)

LeFou was heralded as a gay character after the film strongly hinted at his unrequited crush on Gaston, and many fans had been hoping the prequel would delve more into LeFou’s sexuality.

However, The Wrap claimed that the series was “delayed indefinitely” due to a number of creative and scheduling issues during pre-production.

The Hollywood Reporter reported the production schedule was delayed due to a desire to film the show in the summer in Europe, in hopes of better weather conditions.

THR also claimed that the show will “eventually” be made, but stated that it was unclear whether Gad or Evans would still be involved due to their busy schedules.