Harry Potter veteran Emma Watson has signed on to star in Disney's live-action musical Beauty and the Beast, TheWrap reports.
"I'm finally able to tell you ... that I will be playing Belle in Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast!" the 24-year-old actress wrote this morning on Facebook. "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."
Watson previously had been attached to star in Warner Bros.' planned adaptation Beauty, which stalled last summer following the departure of director Guillermo del Toro. According to the website, the filmmaker gave his blessing for Watson to move on to the Disney production.
Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Gods and Monsters) is directing the film from a script by Hercules screenwriter Evan Spiliotopoulos, whose resume is packed with direct-to-video Disney animated releases, including The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
Disney famously released Beauty and the Beast in 1991 as an animated musical, which grossed $425 million worldwide. It was the studio's first animated film to be adapted into a Broadway musical.