With the recent success of Maleficent and the upcoming live action Cinderella and The Jungle Book flicks on their way, it’s no real surprise Disney is digging back into their vault for movie ideas, and it was only a matter of time before they revisited Beauty And The Beast. Not only have they finally done so, but they’ve also cast Emma Watson in the lead role of Belle. Watson, known for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter series, as well as her work for women’s rights, made the announcement via her official Facebook page.
“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. Emma xx”
What’s more, it turns out Beauty And The Beast won’t just be a live-action film, but a live-action musical. That’ll be great news for fans of the original animated film, as well as those who enjoyed Disney’s recent take on Into The Woods.
According to The Wrap, Emma Watson was previously attached to a Warner Bros. adaptation of Beauty And The Beast, entitled Beauty. The film was set to being developed by Guillermo del Toro, but the project slowed to a halt after he left the project last June (though Warner Bros. is still developing the project).
“Disney began to court Watson for its own adaptation with del Toro’s blessing, as the studio agreed that Watson would be perfect as Belle, according to a source.”
The original animated Beauty And The Beast was also made by Disney in 1991 and has grossed over $424 million worldwide – a stunning return for the 1990s, not to mention the fact that the film was made on a budget of $25 million. The film also managed to snare a nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars for that year–which is not only rare, but was unheard of at the time, as it was the first animated film ever to get nominated. It would retain the title as the only animated film ever nominated until Pixar’s Up was nominated in 2009.
Are you excited to see Emma Watson play Belle in the upcoming live action musical Beauty And The Beast? Let us know in the comments down below!