For a while now, Emma Watson has been rumored to play the live-action version of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. While the speculations were there, it took 4 years to actually, finally, confirm anything. This was due largely to the film’s change of directors and film distributor.

Finally, however, on January 27, 2015, Emma took to her Facebook page to confirm the fantastic news of her being cast as Belle!

She posted the following: “I’m finally able to tell you… that I will be playing Belle in Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast!”

At the announcement that she was to play the popular Disney princess, all hell broke loose over social media. Everyone was freaking out, and I couldn’t blame them.

With Emma’s confirmation, fans have also been giving their thoughts on who can play her character’s counterpart, Beast.

Most of the tweets seem to wish that Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley  to Watson’s Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, would be cast as the Beast. Frankly, I myself would love for them to work together again and think that Rupert could probably do a great job.

My greatest wish, however, is that Eddie Redmayne gets cast as the Beast since the film is slated to be a musical and we all know that his vocal chops are up to the task. Emma herself is going to start with her singing and dancing lessons for the film, and she’ll have plenty of time because production is not even scheduled to start yet until later this year. Let’s just hope that they’re going to do justice to one of the most beloved films of all time.

Emma Watson’s 2015 seems to already be off to a great start. As we may all know, she is currently a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations women and had given a speech on gender equality last year, making her legacy one of fighting for equal rights for all. Her campaign #HeForShe has been taking a wonderful course and is continuing to influence many activists and enthusiasts.

May amazing, wonderful things continue to happen to this lovely lady this 2015 and in the years to come. For now, let’s share in everyone’s excitement and start re-watching and singing along to Beauty and the Beast.

We’re all gonna need to prepare.

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