Disney+'s Beauty and the Beast Prequel Series Adds Walking Dead Star Jelani Alladin
Jelani Alladin is going from The Walking Dead Universe to the wonderful world of Disney. Alladin, who played zombie apocalypse survivor Will Campbell on two seasons of AMC's Walking Dead spinoff series The Walking Dead: World Beyond, is the latest actor to join Luke Evans and Josh Gad in the Beauty and the Beast prequel series set at Disney+. According to Deadline, Alladin will play the "charming and cool" Jean-Michel, described as "a talented artist who has a quick wit, a sharp intellect, and a fierce independent streak."
In the spinoff reportedly titled Little Town, Evans and Gad reprise their roles as Gaston and LeFou from Disney's 2017 live-action film starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. Along with Alladin, the eight-episode limited musical spinoff series stars Briana Middleton (The Tender Bar) as Tilly and Fra Fee (Marvel's Hawkeye) as the charismatic Prince Benoit Berlioz.
"Round 3 with the mouse! I want adventure in the great wide, somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand to have someone understand, I want so much more than they've got planned," Alladin wrote on Instagram, referencing a song from the 1991 original animated movie. Alladin included a shoutout to director Liesl Tommy (Respect, Eclipsed), returning composer Alan Menken, behind the musical for the 1991 and 2017 films, and co-star and series co-creator Gad.
Alladin previously played the iceman Kristoff in Disney Theatrical Productions' Broadway adaptation of Frozen and the titular role in Hercules, the stage musical inspired by Disney's 1997 animated film featuring music by Menken. Alladin's screen credits include roles in CBS' FBI, NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Netflix's tick, tick...BOOM!
The synopsis for Disney's Beauty and the Beast spinoff, via Deadline:
Set in the iconic kingdom of Beauty and the Beast years before the Beast and Belle's epic romance, the series will follow Gaston (Evans) and LeFou (Gad) as they set off with LeFou's step-sister, Tilly (Middleton), after a surprising revelation from her past comes to light, sending the unlikely trio off on 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.
Gad recently confirmed with ComicBook the prequel series will shoot this spring for an exclusive streaming premiere on Disney+. A release date is TBA.
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