Singer/songwriter Rita Ora has joined the cast of Disney Plus’ upcoming ‘Beauty and The Beast’ prequel. The news was announced Monday during Disney Branded Television’s session at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.
On the “Beauty and the Beast” (working title) prequel, Ora will star as “a fugitive with surprising abilities who carries with her a secret that could potentially affect an entire kingdom.” She joins a cast that includes Josh Gad, Luke Evans, Briana Middleton, Fra Fee and Jelani Alladin.
Gad also serves as an executive producer and co-showrunner, along with Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. (Alan Menken, Liesl Tommy — who directs the first episode — and Luke Evans are also EPs). The show takes place years before the events of “Beauty and the Beast” and follows Gaston and LeFou as they set off with LeFou’s stepsister, Tilly, after a surprising revelation from her past comes to light.
Ora’s film credits include the “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise, “Fast & Furious,” “Southpaw,” “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” and “Twist.” As a performer, Ora has landed four No. 1 singles in the U.K., and holds the record for the most Top 10 singles for a British female artist in the U.K. in history with a total of 13.
Most recently, Ora co-wrote and produced the global collaboration “Bang” with Kazakh DJ and record producer Imanbek. The four-track EP featuring David Guetta, Gunna and Argentinian rapper KHEA. It’s the follow up to her album “Phoenix,” which has amassed over 4 billion streams worldwide and spawned the platinum singles. “Lonely Together,” her collaboration with Avicii, won the “Best Dance” VMA at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Davis also announced on Monday that Daveed Diggs has been tapped to narrate Disney Plus’ “The Crossover,” based on the novel-in-verse by Kwame Alexander. The coming-of-age tale follows two brothers destined to become basketball phenoms. Jalyn Hall, Amir O’Neil, Derek Luke, Sabrina Revelle, Skyla I’Lece, Deja Monique Cruz and Trevor Raine Bush star.