In an interesting bit of casting news, Emma Watson has been cast as Belle in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The film is set to be directed by Bill Condon (Twilight Breaking Dawn Saga – Part 1 and Part 2) from a script by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wall Flower). Between Watson, Condon and Chbosky that’s some serious royalty of the “young adult” genre, and they’re a team that’s poised not only to speak to a young audiences interests, but also to deliver a film well-tuned Disney’s sensibilities. Production is slated to begin later in 2015.
The interesting part about this is that Emma Watson was previously set to play the role of Belle in Guilldermo del Toro‘s adaptation of Beauty and the Beast over at Warner Brothers. Del Toro dropped out of directing that film back in June of last year, and it seems Watson had her heart set on the part regardless of studio. Personally, I don’t care who’s making the film (though I would have loved to see Del Toro’s interpretation of the dark love story), as long as Watson stays on as Belle. I grew up on the animated feature, adoring the songs and Belle’s character, and Watson is the exactly the classy young actress to bring Belle’s gumption and intelligence to life on the big screen.
On the heels of Disney’s official announcement this morning, Watson took to her Facebook page to share the good news with her fans:
The re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast follows on the heels of Disney’s other recent live-action successes including Alice in Wonderland in 2010 and Maleficent in 2014. Disney currently has two other live-action re-imaginings in the works: Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh, and The Jungle Book , directed by Jon Favreau.
Here’s the official press release:
Actress Emma Watson has been cast as Belle in Disney’s upcoming live-action interpretation of Beauty and the Beast. The film is directed by Bill Condon and produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Production is anticipated to begin later this year.