11:12 am EDT, January 26, 2015

Emma Watson to star as Belle in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Harry Potter alum Emma Watson is about to become a princess! She’ll star as Belle in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

The actress made the announcement on Facebook Monday morning.

“I’m finally able to tell you… that I will be playing Belle in Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast,” she said. “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.”

Watson will be teaming up with Breaking Dawn director Bill Condon for the project. Stephen Chbosky, who directed Watson in the book to film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, wrote Beast’s screenplay. Filming is expected to begin later this year, according to a brief statement from Disney.

Adding to the excitement of the project, the actress’ statement clearly indicates that the film is going to be a musical. This’ll be the first time Watson will sing in a movie.

This project is not to be confused with Guillermo del Toro’s Beauty and the Beast, which Watson was attached to star in until del Toro pulled out of the project. It’s been in a state of limbo ever since.

Perhaps Watson’s good relationship with Chbosky helped convince the actress to switch Beast projects. One thing’s for sure: She’s really wanted to play Belle.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast follows in a growing line of live-action adaptations the studio has been developing in recent years. They’ve found hit after hit in movies like Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and this spring’s Cinderella, which were all previously well known only for their animated installments. The trend seems certain to continue thanks to Watson!

Will Watson do better as Belle for Disney and Condon than she would’ve for Del Toro?

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