The Harry Potter actress Emma Watson has been cast as Belle in Disney’s live-action remake of its 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast. The 24-year-old Watson wrote on her Facebook page today:

“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.”

Production is scheduled to begin later this year. Bill Condon (DreamGirls, Twilight series) will direct.

Disney has experienced success in recent years by remaking its animated films that were based on public domain properties into live-action films, such as Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent. Its next live-action remake of a public domain story, Cinderella, will be released in March.

(Emma Watson photo: s_bukley/Shutterstock.com)

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