beast-ie boys

Luke Evans leaves the door open for a gayed up spin-off of ‘Beauty & The Beast’

Screenshot: Disney

Disney still has a long way to go when it comes to including multi-dimensional queer characters in its stories. We all remember when we were sold on an “exclusively gay moment” in the 2017 live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast, only to be given a blink-and-you’ll-miss it scene where LeFou (Josh Gad) dances with another man, right?

So perhaps we were wrong to get our hopes up when the studio announced it’d be making a spin-off series about LeFou and his barrel-chested pal Gaston (Luke Evans). It almost felt like they might use it as an opportunity to right the wrongs of the film, to explore LeFou’s queerness in a more direct and thoughtful way.

Not to mention, it’d provide Evans with a solid leading role. We’re always happy to see more from the hunky gay actor, and his take on Gaston was one of the few bright spots in the remake, which doesn’t hold a Lumière candle to the animated original.

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Alas, those hopes were dashed earlier this year when Disney announced the spin-off was postponed indefinitely, citing vague “creative and scheduling issues.” It was the sort of question that had a lot of people scratching their heads, wondering what might’ve been going on behind the scenes.

After all, the studio has pushed forward on live-action adaptations of everything from Pinocchio (which Evans also co-stars in) to Peter Pan to The Little Mermaid, so it was odd that this was the project they pumped the brakes on. One has to wonder if that had anything to do with how (potentially) gay it might’ve been!

But all the rose petals haven’t fallen off this one quite yet. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Evans promises that Gaston and LeFou will ride again:

“It’s been put on hold,” Evans confirms. “We just wanna make sure that it is absolutely the best it can be, and if that means we just have to wait a little longer to finesse certain pieces of it, then that’s what we’re going to do because this is a very important legacy.”

He adds, “We want to honor these characters with the best story we can possibly deliver. It’s just on hold. It is gonna happen. We’re very excited about it. At some point in the near future, it will happen.”

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As the actor tells it, this yet-to-be-named prequel about the iconic villains was born out of his friendship with Gad. While working together on Beauty And The Beast, they made a plan to collaborate again soon, and began wondering what sort of misadventures their characters got into before the events of the movie:

“We came up with the idea of, what would it be like to delve into the past of Gaston and LeFou and how they met and who they were and why they became the people that we meet in the movie that we all know and love? That opened up several cans of worms.”

So, would that mean the series could finally give us more for LeFou than one measly “exclusively gay moment”?

Earlier this year, Gad himself expressed regret over how it was all handled, saying they “should have gone further with that.” Surely, this series would be the perfect opportunity to do just that—go further—although Evans seems hesitant to promise anything at this point in time.

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“Who knows? I’m not sure,” he admits. “There’s so many things about these two characters that we don’t really know, about their origin stories… So I hope one day soon we will be able to deliver that story for you guys.”

Until then, you can catch Evans playing the Coachmen in the new Pinocchio remake, but be warned: He’s nearly unrecognizable under pounds of makeup—and he’s still not showing nearly enough chest hair!