Harry Potter star Emma Watson is in final negotiations to star in a period film adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
Guillermo del Toro, the director behind the darkly fantastical modern fairytale Pan’s Labyrinth, will direct Watson in a film version of the classic fairytale.
Last summer del Toro was reported to have said that Watson was “perfect” for the part of Belle. She is now steps away from confirming the role, Variety has reported.
Little else is known about the film, except that the script is being written by Andrew Davies, the screenplay writer for Bridget Jones’ Diary.
The Warner Bros film will also be produced by del Toro, whose recent production filmography includes Puss In Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2, and a forthcoming remake of Pinocchio. The director is currently working on alien sci-fi epic Pacific Rim.
Since filming Harry Potter, Emma Watson’s film roles have included parts in My Week With Marilyn, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is due for release later this year, and David Yates’ Your Voice In My Head (2012).
Beauty and the Beast, which tells the tale of a merchant’s daughter who is told that in order to save her father from death she must become mistress of a luxurious castle inhabited by an ugly man-beast, is a classic fairytale which has been passed down through the ages.
The first known publication of the story was in France in 1740. There have been various film adaptations of the story, including, notably, Jean Cocteau’s 1946 production, which starred Josette Day as the Beauty, and also Disney’s children’s animation in 1993. Beauty was also rewritten in 2008 as an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.