Emma Watson to lead live-action Beauty & The Beast

After the success of Maleficent, Disney is continuing its commitment to live-action adaptations of its favourite fairytale movies, and in a case of spot-on casting, Emma Watson has signed on to play Belle in the Mouse House's adaptation of Beauty & The Beast.

Scripted by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) and directed by Bill Condon (Twilight: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 & 2), production on the movie is set to kick off later this year.

This isn't the first time Watson's been attached to the role. She was previously signed on to Guillermo del Toro's now defunct version of the fairytale when it was set up at Warner Bros.

If Disney's recent live-action adaps are anything to go by, we should expect Condon's Beauty & The Beast to remain pretty loyal to the studio's 1991 animated version.

With Watson on board, though, it's likely her Belle will be a slightly more kick-ass portrayal.

Of course, the big question is: who'll end up playing the Beast? And will the character be created using CGI, or more traditional prosthetic means?

Beauty & The Beast is due to open in cinemas in 2016. If you can't wait til then, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella opens 27 March 2015.

Josh Winning

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.