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Emma Watson to star in live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’

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English actress Emma Watson poses for pictures on the red carpet upon arrival to attend the British Fashion Awards 2014 in London on December 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO/JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Emma Watson will play Belle in Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast.”

The Walt Disney Co. announced the casting of the “Harry Potter” star Monday, setting the prettier half of the romance at the center of the fairy tale. Who will play the Beast hasn’t yet been announced.

In a Facebook message, Watson said that she was a huge fan of the tale while growing up and that her “six-year-old self is on the ceiling.” She added: “Time to start some singing lessons!”

Watson had long been attached to the project, but it’s taken several years for the film to come together. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” director Bill Condon is taking over from the previously attached director, Guillermo del Toro.

Disney says production will begin this year.

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