Alan Menken crafting music for Disney+ Beauty and the Beast prequel
Alan Menken has had a historic relationship with Disney for over 30 years now and after developing music for the original Beauty and the Beast with Howard Ashman and for the 2017 remake with Tim Rice, he has revealed in a Young Artists of America video that he will be returning to craft music for the upcoming Disney+ prequel series centered on Gaston and LeFou. Menken’s chat with the performing arts organization, in which he also reveals he is currently working on music for the long-awaited Disenchanted, can be viewed in the player below! (Via Slash Film)
The series, which is being penned by Once Upon a Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, will be a six-episode limited series musical event with composer Alan Menken also in talks to return to craft music for the series. The project is currently in early development, with no other stars currently attached, but sources are reporting that there is a possibility they could appear in guest spots.
Horowitz and Kitsis are going to partner with Gad to serve as showrunners on the series, with the trio writing all six scripts and executive producing alongside Evans, while ABC Signature Studios is funding the project. Sources are reporting that the concept for the prequel came from Gad, Kitsis and Horowitz working together on the scrapped Muppets Live Another Day, an eight-episode limited series for the streaming service that would take place after the events of Muppets Take Manhattan. Shortly after the three left the series, discussions of this new project reportedly began.
This prequel series will mark the second extension from a live-action Disney remake for the streaming service as a spin-off film focusing on Billy Magnussen’s Prince Anders from last year’s Aladdin is currently in development, while reboots of The Mighty Ducks and Turner and Hooch are also in development.
Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; and Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp. The film also features Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Audra McDonald as Garderobe and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts.
Directed by Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated film, the remake was produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman with eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, providing the score, which included new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice.
Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast hit theaters in March 2017 to generally positive reviews from critics and audiences, who praised the visual effects and faithfulness to the original while also receiving some criticisms for its lack of doing anything new with the material. It went on to be a major box office success, grossing over $1.25 billion worldwide on a production budget estimated between $160-255 million.