If there's even a slight chance of making a sequel to a film, Hollywood will usually jump all over it. And Disney almost did just that with Beauty and the Beast -- nearly changing the story's well-known ending in the process.
According to The Wrap, an early version of the screenplay for this year's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast left the door slightly ajar for a follow-up. And how was that? By letting the villainous Gaston (Luke Evans) escape his fate -- plunging to his death from the Beast's castle -- to possibly live on in a second movie.
Screenwriter Evan Spiliotopoulos, who co-wrote the script with Stephen Chbosky, revealed the plan: "The idea was not that [Gaston] died in the end, but the enchantress would come and he would be cursed as the new Beast," he said, referring to the enchantress who turns the then-vain Prince into the Beast at the beginning of the tale.
Spiliotopoulos said that the idea stayed around pretty far into the development of the script, too, with Gaston set to disappear at the end of the movie and return in the sequel, "whether to be redeemed or come back as a villain.”
Realistically, since Gaston was invented for the 1991 animated film and not part of the original fairy tale, the studio was not beholden to stick with any particular storyline for him. But in the end, execs at Disney changed their minds and decided to keep the ending the same as the 1991 version, in which Gaston was killed.
Since Beauty and the Beast was a monster success at the box office, we can reasonably assume that fans preferred the story as faithful as possible to Disney's original animated classic. But since Luke Evans was so good as Gaston, are you intrigued at all by the possibility that he might have grown a ton of fur and become the Beast himself if Beauty and the Beast 2 ever came to pass? Or is it okay sometimes to leave sequels well enough alone?