Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast made a ridiculous amount of money this weekend, so it only makes sense that the studio is considering how to franchise the title into future installments. Speaking to Deadline, Walt Disney Studios’ President of Production Sean Bailey revealed that they’re in the process of exploring possible spinoff and prequel scenarios. The reason that a sequel is likely off the table is because they learned their lesson with the gigantic flop, Alice Through the Looking Glass.
That being said, the studio is in no rush to franchise Beauty and the Beast because they have so many other animated films at their disposal. Bailey told Deadline that right now they’re just focusing on the 2D animated films and nothing from the post-2000 CGI animated age (so you don’t need to work about a live-action adaptation of Monsters, Inc. or Frozen for now).
As for Beauty and the Beast, while I don’t really think they need to expand the story (I don’t really need to know what Cogsworth was up to before Belle came to the castle or how Chip plans to spend his life now that he finally gets to age), I wouldn’t expect to see such a film anytime in the near future. Last year, Disney announced that they were moving forward on The Jungle Book 2, but that film seems to have been quietly placed on the backburner so that director Jon Favreau can focus on the live-action version of The Lion King (although in a film with no human characters, I have no idea what’s not going to be animated; perhaps a patch of grass).