Josh Groban, Joshua Henry and Rita Moreno will star in ABC’s “Beauty and the Beast 30th Anniversary Special,” Variety can exclusively reveal.
Groban, who recorded the original song “Evermore” for the 2017 “Beauty and the Beast” film, will play Beast. Henry, who recently starred on Broadway’s “Into the Woods,” will play Gaston. Moreno will serve as the show’s narrator, guiding viewers along the classically enchanting tale. As previously announced, Grammy winner H.E.R. will play Belle in the live-action/animated hybrid.
The casting news was announced Friday at the D23 Expo’s “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” panel, moderated by Variety’s senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay.
The special will be recorded live and feature never-before-seen musical performances. Jamal Sims is doing double duty as executive producer and choreographer. Sets will be designed by Julio Himede, and “The Masked Singer” costume designer Marina Toybina will recreate Belle’s famous yellow gown, plus new outfits inspired by the classic story.
Jon M. Chu will executive produce the special. In April, Chu shared how he was inspired by the 1992 animated feature. He said, “When the animated movie came out, I watched it multiple times in the first weekend. It showed me the outer limits of what animated artists and storytellers could achieve, so the fact that I get to executive produce a tribute to all the creatives that made this masterpiece through our Electric Somewhere company is a dream I didn’t even think was possible. With world-class creatives and talent to reinterpret the classic musical numbers (with a few surprises), I can’t wait for the audiences, in person and at home, to experience what we have in store for them. It’s a true celebration of creativity.”
“Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” is produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere.
Hamish Hamilton will direct the special and is an executive producer alongside Chu, Caitlin Foito, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan.