‘Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration’: Josh Groban to Play Beast in ABC Special

Josh Groban
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for CNN

Josh Groban will play the Beast in the upcoming ABC special Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration. He joins Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer/songwriter H.E.R., who was previously announced as Belle.

Additionally, Broadway and Tick Tick… Boom! star Joshua Henry will play Gaston, and the legendary Rita Moreno will serve as the production’s narrator. The casting announcements were made Friday, September 9 during a panel at the D23 expo.

It’s wild to think that we were first introduced to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 30 years ago. But those of us who are old enough to remember being smitten with the original animated film can get excited for this December, when we get to be enchanted all over again when the new live action and animated-blended special premieres.

The two-hour reimagining of the original Disney blockbuster will be presented by The Wonderful World of Disney and will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios. It will be directed by Jon M. Chu (In the Heights, Crazy Rich Asians) and will air live on December 15, available for next-day streaming on Disney+.

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It will be a two-hour animated and live-action blended special.

Groban is no stranger to this tale as old as time — he also recorded a song for the 2017 Beauty and the Beast live-action film starring Emma Watson. The song, “Evermore,” is performed heartbreakingly by the Beast after he releases Belle from the castle and she returns home to protect her father from the brutish Gaston. Groban sang the song for the soundtrack, but it was performed in the movie by Dan Stevens.

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration is produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Chu and Hamish Hamilton executive produce along with Caitlin Foito, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft, and Katy Mullan. H.E.R. serves as a producer.

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration, Special Premiere, Thursday, December 15, 8/7c, ABC