H.E.R. cast as Belle in ABC’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ special

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H.E.R. to star as Belle in upcoming , ‘Beauty and the Beast’ animated, live-action special.On July 20, ABC announced H.E.R. has been cast as Bellefor 'Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.'.H.E.R. is the perfect embodiment of our Belle and we are thrilled for our audiences to see her in this celebration of creativity. , Jon M. Chu, executive producer, via ABC News.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, Jon M. Chu, executive producer, via ABC News.The role will make H.E.R. the first Black and Filipina woman to play Belle on screen.The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle! I can't believe I get to be a part of the 'Beauty and the Beast' legacy, H.E.R., via ABC News.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, H.E.R., via ABC News.The two-hour special will be taped in front of an audience.It will air Dec. 15 on ABC.Disney+ subscribers will be able to watch it the following day

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter H.E.R. has landed the role of Belle in ABC’s upcoming “Beauty and the Beast,” set to air in December.

The “Slide” songstress will play the book-loving Disney princess in the special, which will mix live-action and animation.

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The special will be shot at Disney Studios as a two-hour presentation in front of a live studio audience. “In the Heights” and “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu will produce the special, and British powerhouse director Hamish Hamilton — best known for his over-the-top Super Bowl halftime shows — will direct.

“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!” said H.E.R. “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.”

H.E.R will be the first Afro-Filipina woman to play the role of Belle on the screen. Over the past few years, Disney has opened its casting to feature more diverse casts. The 2023 “The Little Mermaid Live!” special, for example, featured Halle Bailey as Ariel and Queen Latifah as Ursula.

“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,” Chu told Deadline.

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This year marks the 30th anniversary of “Beauty and the Beast.” The movie was the first animated film to be nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards. A few other accolades include: winning a Golden Globe Award for best motion picture, and the theme song winning an Academy Award for best original song in 1992.

“The Wonderful World of Disney Presents: Beauty and the Beast” will air on December 15 on ABC and be available on Disney+ the next day.