Emma Watson to star and sing in live-action Beauty and the Beast remake

"Time to start singing lessons," said the Harry Potter star, who will play the lead role of Belle in the Disney movie musical

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Harry Potter star Emma Watson is returning to the world of magic and wonder in Disney’s new live-action take on its musical fairytale Beauty and the Beast.

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The announcement continues the trend for Disney of revisiting its animated classics as films following this year’s remake of Cinderella, starring Lily James and Richard Madden, and 2010’s Alice in Wonderland.

Writing on her Facebook page, Watson confirmed the news and revealed that she would be bringing her singing as well as acting talents to the part.

“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’.”

She added: “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.”

The story of Beauty and the Beast follows young woman Belle, who is captured by a mysterious and monstrous figure whom she begins to fall in love with. The animated version, which was released in 1991, was a huge critical and financial success and remains popular to this day.

Watson had been rumoured to have a part in the Bill Condon-directed remake for a while, but this is the first official confirmation. Sadly, we’ll have to wait a while to see Watson in action, as the film doesn’t even begin filming until then.

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For now, just imagine the animated Belle looks a bit like Hermione and you’ll get an exclusive preview inside your head. Please, be our guest and watch the clip below.