Stargazing

Emma Watson to play Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ movie

This March 26, 2014 file photo shows actress Emma Watson at the premiere of "Noah," in New York.
This March 26, 2014 file photo shows actress Emma Watson at the premiere of "Noah," in New York. Associated Press

It’s official. “Harry Potter” alum Emma Watson will play Belle in Disney’s live-action musical version of “Beauty and the Beast.”

The Wrap broke the news on Monday and then Watson herself, sounding positively giddy, confirmed it on her Facebook page.

“I'm finally able to tell you ... that I will be playing Belle in Disney's new live-action 'Beauty and the Beast'!" wrote the 24-year-old actress.

“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 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.”

Watson’s name first popped up as a possible Belle in 2011, when director Guillermo del Toro was attached to a project called “Beauty” for Warner Bros., according to The Wrap.

But when that version hit a snag last summer, Disney began courting Watson for its own project with del Toro’s consent, the website reports.

Disney’s movie will be directed by Bill Condon (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”) and the script is written by Stephen Chbosky, who directed Watson in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

Production on the movie is expected to begin later this year.

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