H.E.R. has been cast as Belle in ABC's live-action Beauty and the Beast. She will also play the role in an animated special. The network announced the star's involvement today as plans crystalize around a 30th Celebration Special. The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter will get a massive audience on The Wonderful World of Disney. The plan is to tape the special beforehand in front of a live audience before rolling it out to ABC viewers on December 15th. Fans that want to relive the magic can catch Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration the next day on Disney+. H.E.R. sounds ecstatic to be a part of such an iconic Disney story.
"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!" She explained in a statement. "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."
"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," producer Jon Chu said. "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."
"Beauty and the Beast was always a game-changing cinematic experience for me," Chu previously revealed. "When the animated movie came out, I watched it multiple times in the first weekend. It showed me the outer limits of what animated artists and storytellers could achieve, so the fact that I get to executive produce a tribute to all the creatives that made this masterpiece through our Electric Somewhere company is a dream I didn't even think was possible. With world-class creatives and talent to reinterpret the classic musical numbers (with a few surprises), I can't wait for the audiences, in person and at home, to experience what we have in store for them. It's a true celebration of creativity."
Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will be produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Jon M. Chu, Caitlin Foito, Hamish Hamilton, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan serve as executive producers. Hamish Hamilton will serve as director. H.E.R. serves as a producer.
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