The press release was short and brief:
Actress Emma Watson has been cast as Belle in Disney's upcoming live-action interpretation of Beauty and the Beast. The film is directed by Bill Condon and produced by Mandeville Films' David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Production is anticipated to begin later this year.
The actress took to her Facebook page to share her thoughts on the news:
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
This is great news, but we still have a lot of questions. Specifically, what the Beast will look like? Will he be CG, reptilian, or a furry lion person like Ron Perlman in the classic B&tB TV series?
Also, does Emma's mention of the classic Disney songs mean there will be SINGING in this live-action version? Bill Condon certainly knows how to direct a musical... fingers crossed, people.