British singer/songwriter Rita Ora is the latest addition to Disney+’s Beauty and the Beast prequel series.
Set in the iconic kingdom from Beauty and the Beast yet years before Beast and Belle’s epic romance, the series will follow Gaston and LeFou (played by Luke Evans and Josh Gad) as a surprising revelation sends them and LeFou’s stepsister, Tilly (The Tender Bar‘s Briana Middleton), on an unexpected journey filled with romance, comedy and adventure.
Ora — whose previous acting credits include “Herself” on episodes of Empire and 90210, plus the role of Christian Grey’s sister Mia in the Fifty Shades movies — will play a fugitive possessing “surprising abilities,” and who carries with her a secret that could potentially affect an entire kingdom.
Executive-produced by Gad and Once Upon a Time showrunners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the yet-to-be-titled series’ cast also includes Fra Fee (Hawkeye) as Prince Benoit Berlioz and Jelani Alladin (The Walking Dead: World Beyond) as Jean-Michel, a talented artist with a quick wit.
Arguably the most interesting part about the prequel series was found in a statement from Disney Branded Television CCO Gary Marsh, who said last June, “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.” That implies that Gaston, whose previous connection to the Beast related only to their shared admiration for Belle, might know more about the Enchantress’ curse than fans would have ever suspected.
Production on the series is set to begin this spring.