By Alyssa Fama

“Beauty and The Beast” will hit theatres in 2015 as a live-action film starring one-third of the Harry Potter trio, Emma Watson. She was elated when confirmed as the lead role, Belle.

She immediately shared the news via Facebook: “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

Emma Watson posing for Vogue Italia.
Emma Watson posing for Vogue Italia.

Guest’ and sing ‘Something There.’ My 6-year-old self is on the ceiling — heart bursting. Time to start some singing lessons. I can’t wait for you to see it.”

The film will be part fantasy tale, part musical; one requirement for all cast members is the ability to sing. During an interview with Vanity Fair Magazine, Waston said, “I sing, so that’s really unexpected. I’ve never had to do that for a film role before, and I think people will be interested to see me do something very different like that. It gives me a different challenge, really. That’s terrifying in and of itself!”

Watson won’t be the only one in the film from the famous boy wizard series. Emma Thompson, known for her role as Professor Trelawney, is rumored to be among the considered to work alongside Watson, but her role has yet to be determined according to the International Business Times.

The role of the “Beast” has been offered to Dan Stevens, known for playing Matthew Crawley in the PBS series, “Downton Abbey.”

KU student Kylie Newton said, “Emma Watson and Dan Stevens would look incredible together. I think it’ll be frightening and beautiful at the same time.”

Bill Condon, most recognized for directing the final installments of the “Twilight” series (“Breaking Dawn” parts one and two), will be directing the film alongside producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films.

Alan Menken, who composed the music for the 1991 animated film, will be working with Condon to decide which songs will be implemented or rearranged for the live-action version.

The animated “Beauty and the Beast” has earned more than $145 million domestically since 1991, and the popular Disney tale hit Broadway in 1994 with huge success, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

With the development of other live-action adaptations from popular animated favorites, including “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010 and, just recently, “Cinderella”, “Beauty and the Beast” will be released to a fan base of eager adults and enthused children.

A release date for the film has yet to be determined.

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