A new spell has been cast! Actress Emma Watson, known primarily for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, has taken up a new kind of Magic and will be traveling from the wizard world to the world of Disney enchantment! Just today, Emma broke the news on her official Facebook page that she has won the role of the precocious, articulate and bookish young Belle in an upcoming Disney live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Shortly after she broke the news, Disney sent confirmation in an email to Mashable.
This is the third in a series of live-adaptation films that the Walt Disney Company has undertaken recently. From Maleficent to Cinderella, Disney is taking these beloved stories off the animator’s palette and placing them in an even larger world, giving our imaginations and hearts more to ponder, more to dream, more to which we can all personally relate. The newest installment, Beauty and the Beast, will be directed by Bill Condon and produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Production is tentatively set to begin later this year, but no release date has been published. Also in the works is a version of Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book.
Emma Watson has herself long been a fan of this enchanted tale and notes that her “six-year-old self is on the ceiling – heart bursting.” Also known as a fashion icon and, more recently, an advocate for gender equality, the young actress is eager to begin singing lessons and don the yellow dress that makes her new character so famous and recognizable.
Belle is a strong character, a young woman who is loyal, compassionate and discerning. She holds strong values and is certainly stubborn when necessary. It is no doubt that Emma Watson will take on this role with charisma and heart. I personally think this is a perfect fit and I anticipate movie-goers will be anxiously awaiting the arrival of this film to the theaters. Only one question is left on my mind – who is being cast to play the role of Gaston? Any speculations?