She'll be working with Breaking Dawn director Bill Condon for the project. Beast's screenplay was written by Stephen Chbosky, whom she's also worked with during filming Perks of being a wallflower (2012)
Walt Disney Pictures engaged Joe Ahearne (Ultraviolet, Apparitions) to write the script. His resume suggests Ahearne was hired to write a darker fairy tale re-imagining. Perhaps something that pushes Disney’s family-friendly boundaries further than Tim Burton’s dreary concept of Wonderland
Deadline is reporting that David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman (The Muppets) are producing Beast as opposed to Alice and Oz champion producer Joe Roth.
Beast is not to be confused with Guillermo del Toro’s (Pan's Labirynth) 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 oblivion ever since.
It's very likely that Emma's good relationship with Chbosky helped convince her to switch projects.
She's really been wanting to play Belle for some time now.
It was said that Mouse House would very much likely start shooting later this year.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast follows in a growing line of live-action adaptations the studio has been developing in past few years.
Movies like Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and coming this spring Cinderella that are known for their animated origins, happen to be great sensations (even though Cinderella isn't out in movie theaters yet, it's trailer already has over 15 million hits on YouTube).
The trend seems sure to continue, with Emma Watson by it's side.
Today Emma Watson (Harry Potter, Noah) confirmed that she'll be playing Belle in live-action adaptation of the well known and loved Disney's Beauty and the Beast animation.
The actress announced it on her Facebook page:
Hi, I believe that there is no one today who is you-er than you.