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Emma Watson will play Belle in Disney’s live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ remake

Now if we can only get Tom Felton to star as the Beast.


Aja Romano


Posted on Jan 26, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 4:46 pm CDT

Last week, Emma Watson unveiled a groundbreaking new initiative in her role as United Nations ambassador for gender equality. 

But it’s her newly-announced role as Belle in Disney’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake that could have the biggest impact on women around the world.

That’s right. Our real-life Hermione will be stepping into one of the film pantheon’s other great roles for girls who love books, magic, and adventure. And she’ll be doing it with a script penned by an unlikely writer: Stephen Chbosky, whose film adaptation of his Young Adult novel Perks of Being a Wallflower earned Watson considerable critical acclaim in 2012. 

Fans immediately approved the casting, trending congratulations worldwide.

As every Disney fan knows, Belle is an unapologetic bookworm whose spirited independence wins the heart of the Beast. While the acclaimed animated musical has some rather unfortunate takeaways about how to get a woman to fall in love with you (hint: It’s not to Stockholm her by keeping her locked in your enchanted castle), the story has remained a beloved classic because of its wonderful characters, gorgeous animation, great score, and, oh, yeah, Gaston

On Facebook, Watson gave us another surprise after the news dropped: she’ll not only be playing the role of the titular Beauty, but singing it, too:

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. I can’t wait for you to see it. Emma xx

We’ve never heard Watson sing before, apart from her gorgeous background vocals on Ben Hammersley’s “Pantomime” (her part starts around 2:05). But we’re down for it. The Wrap reports Disney and director Bill Condon (Breaking Dawn 12) started courting Watson as soon as they started planning the film. 

We can’t blame them, since we’re pretty sure there’s nothing Watson can’t pull off. After all, she is the cleverest witch of her age.  

Photo via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY SA 3.0) and Wikimedia Commons (CC BY SA 3.0); Remix by Aja Romano

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*First Published: Jan 26, 2015, 3:09 pm CST