ABC has found its Belle! Indeed, the next live musical production of the American channel will pay tribute to the Disney classic. No Emma Watson around though, but a certain R&B star…
After the musical “Disney On Broadway” then the live action movie The beauty and the Beast with Emma Watsonthe Belle in question will soon be back but this time for a live special on ABC which will air later this year.
If Disney had remained silent as to the casting of this musical production announced at the beginning of July and entitled Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration, we now know who will play the coveted lead role. According to Deadline, it will be the Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter HER who will play the beloved princess.
The R&B star spoke on the subject and did not hide her enthusiasm.
I can’t believe I could be part of the Beauty and the Beast legacy. The world will see a Beautiful Black Filipina! I always wanted to be a Disney princess and I work with two wonderful directors: Hamish Hamilton and my favorite, Jon M. Chu. It’s very surreal and I couldn’t be more grateful.
This will indeed be the first time that an Afro-Filipina woman will play the role of Belle on screen. Jon M Chu, also spoke on the subject. “With her obvious extraordinary talent and stage presence, HER is the perfect embodiment of our Belle and we are thrilled that the audience will see her in this celebration of creativity.”
The singer also shared the news on her Instagram account, dancing in the streets of Nice to the original music from the animated film. “I’m training to be a Disney Princess in Nice. You’re watching the Black and Filipina Belle premiere for ABC’s Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration. I always wanted to be a Disney Princess”, she wrote, accompanied by an emotional emoji.
In just under 4 years, HER has garnered no less than 20 Grammy Award nominations including 4 wins, as well as an Oscar for his song “Fight For You” from the biopic Judas and the Black Messiah. Next year, she will make her acting debut in the Warner Bros. adaptation. of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, The Color Purple.
Produced by Jon M. Chu and directed by Hamish Hamilton so, Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will mix animation and live action. On the program, new musical performances paying homage to the timeless tale as well as new sets and costumes inspired by the classic story.
“We were both influenced as storytellers by the original animated film, so it’s very exciting to collaborate together to honor the artistry of this timeless classic while inspiring a whole new generation of creators.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of The beauty and the Beast – the original – as the first animated feature to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. It eventually won the Golden Globe for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy category, while the soundtrack and theme song both won an Oscar in 1992.
Presented by The Wonderful World of Disney, this 2-hour re-imagining of the tale will be recorded in front of a live audience at Disney Studios and will be broadcast – also live – on ABC on December 15, 2022. The show will be available to stream the following day on Disney+.
In the meantime, you can rewatch the original animated film as well as its live-action remake, both available on Disney+.