Emma Watson Cast as Belle in Disney's Live-Action Beauty and the Beast: "Time to Start Some Singing Lessons!"

"My six year old self is on the ceiling," the actress says

By Zach Johnson Jan 26, 2015 4:30 PMTags
Emma Watson, Golden Globe AwardsChristopher Polk/NBC/NBC via Getty Images

Emma Watson has already played a wizard, and now, she's becoming a princess!

The Harry Potter actress, 24, broke the news via Facebook Monday. "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," she wrote. "I can't wait for you to see it."

Walt Disney Pictures first announced plans to make the movie in June 2014.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn's Bill Condon will direct the fairy tale adaptation, and production is anticipated to begin later this year, the studio tells E! News.

David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing under their Mandeville Films banner.

Stephen Chbosky wrote the script; Evan Spiliotopoulos wrote the previous draft of the screenplay. Watson was previously attached to star in Guillermo del Toro's Beauty, which he was developing for Warner Bros. before exiting the project in June—the same month Walt Disney Pictures hired Condon.

Walt Disney Animations' Beauty and the Beast, released in 1991, earned a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards and was adapted into a Broadway musical in 1994.

Walt Disney Pictures/Shutterstock

Watson's Beauty and the Beast casting comes two months before Kenneth Branagh's live-action version of Cinderella, co-starring Cate Blanchett and Lily James, arrives in theaters. Walt Disney Pictures is also developing a live-action version of The Jungle Book with director Jon Favreau, slated for release in 2016. The movie, which honors 1967's animated classic, features the talents of Idris Elba, Giancarlo Esposito, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong'o, Neel Sethi and Christopher Walken.

In recent years, Walt Disney Pictures has introduced classic fairy tales to new audiences via its live-action versions of Alice in Wonderland (2010), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) and Maleficent (2014).

Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, meanwhile, is scheduled for release on May 27, 2016.