“Harry Potter” alum Emma Watson has closed a deal to star in Disney’s live-action musical “Beauty and the Beast,” TheWrap has learned.
Bill Condon (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”) will direct from a script written by Stephen Chbosky, who directed Watson in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Evan Spiliotopoulos wrote the previous draft of the screenplay.
David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing under their Mandeville Films banner.
Watson is set to play Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” which is the latest Disney classic to receive a live-action adaptation following “Maleficent,” “Cinderella” and Jon Favreau‘s upcoming take on “The Jungle Book.”
Watson had previously been attached to star in Guillermo del Toro’s “Beauty,” which the director was developing for Warner Bros. before exiting the project in June, when Disney hired Condon. When WB’s version hit a snag, Disney began to court Watson for its own adaptation with del Toro’s blessing, as the studio agreed that Watson would be perfect as Belle, according to a source.
Emma confirmed the news and her excitement in a post at her official facebook account.