Emma Watson, most famous for playing Hermione in the Harry Potter films, will play another book-loving heroine: She announced on Facebook that she will star as Belle in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
Watson wrote on Facebook, “I’m finally able to tell you… that I will be playing Belle in Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast! It was such a big part of my growing up, it almost feels surreal that I’ll get to dance to ‘Be Our Guest’ and sing ‘Something There’. My six year old self is on the ceiling – heart bursting. Time to start some singing lessons. I can’t wait for you to see it.”
The adaptation is set to be directed by Dreamgirls‘s Bill Condon. Condon told EW in October that the film will indeed be a musical featuring the 1991 animated film’s original Alan Menken and Howard Ashman songs, as well as new music from composer Menken. “Technology, we hope, has finally caught up to that treatment of the story, so I think we’re all kind of excited to bring that brilliant, amazing score and beautiful story into three dimensions,” Condon said.
According to a statement from Disney, production is expected to begin later in 2015.
Disney next live-action take on a classic tale, Cinderella, is due out in March. A Jon Favreau-directed Jungle Book is also in the works.
Marc Snetiker contributed to this report.