The recipe itself is a tale as old as time: if a movie is ridiculously successful, chances are strong we’ll see those characters return for a sequel. With Beauty and the Beast posting one of the biggest opening weekends ever, firmly on its way to becoming the year’s first billion-dollar moneymaker, does that automatically mean a sequel is all but guaranteed?
Well… yes and no.
During a wide-ranging conversation covering everything from The Lone Ranger to the studio’s recent success adapting their animated classics to live action, Deadline asked Disney president Sean Bailey whether Beauty and the Beast would get a sequel. While Bailey said there were currently no plans for a sequel, he did suggest that they are pursuing potential spinoffs and prequel “scenarios,” meaning you should probably start that petition for a LeFou solo movie asap.
Keep in mind any attempted prequel or spinoff doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll hit the big screen. Much of why those animated Disney classics became classics is because in many cases Disney didn’t make a big-screen sequel. There were small-screen sequels and spinoffs that Disney brought to TV and to the home entertainment space, but by going against the grain and not producing big-screen sequels for films like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, Disney managed to nurture the special relationship fans had with those movies.
It’s a bit tougher to do that in this modern era of moviemaking despite there being even more places for additional content to premiere, especially considering Disney has its own home entertainment space in Disney Movies Anywhere, as well as multiple TV channels. For example, soon after The Jungle Book surprised at the box office, a sequel was announced. But then Disney sort of backed away from it, putting that film’s director, Jon Favreau, on a live-action Lion King adaptation instead.
It seems right now the answer isn’t as cut and dry, and as long as Disney has a well of classics to dip into, it might not make sense to put any live-action sequels on the docket without first testing audience interest by introducing, say, a LeFou spinoff on Disney XD. Regardless, expect Disney to do more with Beauty and the Beast in the near future.
And speaking of fan favorite LeFou, Josh Gad recently told People that he tried desperately to convince Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon to include a Frozen Easter egg in the movie, and he had a specific scene in mind, too.
“There’s a moment in the original where a bunch of snow falls on LeFou and he becomes a snowman and I thought, this could kill. It’s a little meta but it could be great.
Gad, of course, voices the snowman Olaf in Frozen, and so this scene would’ve been a clever nod to both the original animated film (see LeFou as the snowman, pictured above), as well as Frozen. Alas, it never was!
Beauty and the Beast is in theaters now.