Jelani Alladin joins the cast of Disney+’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast prequel series. Titled, Little Town (a nod to Howard Ashman’s lyric in the musical’s opening number, “Belle”), he joins previously cast Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Briana Middleton, and Fra Fee.
Gad, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz developed and wrote the eight-episode limited musical series as a prequel to the 2017 live-action film. Gad, who also starred in 2017 as well as Evans, will reprise their roles of Gaston and LeFou from the film.
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Little Town is set in the iconic Beauty and the Beast kingdom years before the Beast and Belle’s epic romance. The series follows Gaston (Evans) and LeFou (Gad), who set off with LeFou’s step-sister, Tilly (Middleton), after a surprising revelation from her past comes to light. The unlikely trio take an unexpected journey filled with romance, comedy, and adventure. While the mysteries of the past are uncovered and the dangers of the present grow. Old friends and new enemies reveal that this familiar kingdom harbors many secrets.
“For anyone who’s ever wondered how a brute like Gaston and a goof like LeFou could have ever become friends and partners. Or how a mystical enchantress came to cast that fateful spell on the prince-turned-beast. This series will finally provide those answers. And provoke a whole new set of questions,” said Gary Marsh, Disney Branded Television’s president and chief creative officer.
Alladin will play Jean-Michel, a charming, cool, and talented artist who has a quick wit, a sharp intellect, and a fierce independent streak. Fee will play Prince Benoit Berlioz, a prince that the main trio encounter on their journey. He is also a childhood friend of LeFou’s stepsister Tilly, who has grown into a confident and handsome prince.
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Tony Award-nominated director Liesl Tommy is directing the pilot and executive producing. Gad, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz also serve as executive producers/co-showrunners. The project will also feature an original soundtrack from EGOT-winning composer Alan Menken, who will also serve as executive producer. Lyrics for the first episode will be by Oscar nominee Glenn Slater.
There is no release date as of yet.
Alladin has previously worked with Disney, when he played Kristoff in the Broadway adaptation of the 2013 animated film Frozen. Alladin’s other previous work includes AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond. As well as a role in Netflix’s tick, tick…BOOM!.