July 21 (UPI) — Grammy-winning singer H.E.R. has signed on to play heroine Belle in Disney-owned ABC’s upcoming 30th anniversary special celebrating the classic cartoon musical, Beauty and the Beast.
“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!” H.E.R. said in a statement Wednesday.
“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.”
No other casting has been announced yet.
Chu — whose credits include Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights — is executive producing the 2-hour animated and live-action special, which is set to premiere on the network on Dec. 15.
Super Bowl Halftime show director and music documentarian Hamilton is on board to helm the program.
It will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios.
Paige O’Hara voiced Belle in the original movie, while Emma Watson portrayed the character in the 2017 live-action version.