ABC’s live-action production of Beauty and the Beast has found its Belle.
The network on Thursday announced that five-time GRAMMY® and Academy Award®-winning singer-songwriter H.E.R. will take on the iconic role.
“The R&B singer will lead audiences through the world of Belle with never-before-seen musical performances celebrating and paying homage to the beloved tale,” according to ABC.
“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ legacy. The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle!” said H.E.R.
“I have always wanted to be a Disney princess, and I get to work with two wonderful directors Hamish Hamilton and my favorite, Jon M. Chu.”
“It is very surreal and I couldn’t be more grateful,” the star’s statement concludes.
“With her obvious extraordinary talent and stage presence, H.E.R. is the perfect embodiment of our Belle and we are thrilled for audiences to see her in this celebration of creativity,” says Chu.
“We were both influenced as storytellers by the original animated movie, so it’s very exciting to collaborate together to honor the artistry of that timeless classic while also inspiring a whole new generation of creators.”
This year, 2022, marks the 30th anniversary of when Disney Animation’s Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
The film went on to win the Golden Globe® Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, while the theme song Beauty and the Beast won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992.
Presented by The Wonderful World of Disney, the two-hour reimagining of the classic story will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios and will air THURSDAY, DEC. 15 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC and on Disney+ the next day.
ABC will reveal more casting details in the months leading up to the premiere.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.