Harry Potter’s Hermoine to headline silver-screen Beauty, del Toro to direct

It looks like Beauty and the Beast is the next adaptation obsession, after two years of hearing about Snow White.

As we previously reported, The CW has ordered a pilot based on a script it commissioned for a remake of the 80’s series Beauty and the Beast, which starred Linda Hamilton & Ron Perlman. Meanwhile, ABC, a Disney owned network, has ordered a pilot for a show based on the classic French fairy tale which will actually take place in a pseudo-medieval setting. The latter announcement hit just days before the release of the Animated Disney feature which is making its way back into theaters – in 3D – as well as onto Blu-ray.

Now we’ve got news that Warner Bros. has lined up Guillermo del Toro to direct a new live-action adaptation of the tale written by Andrew Davies. In addition, an actress has already been chosen to play Belle, the protagonist of the story: Emma Watson.

Watson’s been in talks to join the film throughout its quiet development, but it’s rare to solidify actors before the director is on board, especially since that step usually marks the true beginning of the film’s pre-production process, and del Toro was Warner Bros. first choice to direct.

The film is currently called Beauty, and was originally conceived as an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Robin McKinley, but the shape of it may have changed since, and the title will almost certainly need to be changed, since that’s the name of ABC’s upcoming show.

Unsurprisingly for del Toro, the director has a bit too much on his plate to get this started right away. He needs to finish shooting Pacific Rim and consulting on Trollhunter in addition to several non-film projects before he can continue to develop and cast this new film.

No production or release dates have been announced for Beauty.