Disney’s live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast is set to lead the March box-office charge, with some analysts estimating that the lavish adaptation could earn upwards of $120 million during its opening weekend alone. That would make it a potential record-setter — although according to director Bill Condon, the film will also be blazing a new trail when it hits theaters, thanks to the fact that it will feature the studio’s first ever “exclusively gay moment.”
In a new Attitude feature, Condon reveals that Josh Gad’s portrayal of LeFou — the goofy sidekick to Luke Evans’s macho egomaniac Gaston — will actually be a character struggling with his sexuality. As Condon says:
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. … He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
The scene in question will be the first of its kind in a Disney princess movie, although according to star Emma Watson, it’s in keeping with the larger themes of confusion and alienation that are at the heart of the film:
“I think it was really important for Dan and I to develop and understand why each of our characters feel as if they don’t fit in. … I certainly felt watching the original that I wanted to know more about why Belle feels that she’s different and why she wants to be different and why she’s naturally different.”
Whether this reimagining of LeFou will be welcomed by fans — or prove to be a divisive twist, à la Star Trek Beyond’s decision to portray Sulu as a gay man — will be known soon enough. Beauty and the Beast dances its way into theaters on March 17. You can read more about Condon’s film at Attitude.
Watch a clip of Gaston and LeFou: