Musician H.E.R. is taking on an iconic role for a special Disney anniversary special.
As noted by Variety, H.E.R. is stepping into Disney Princess Belle’s yellow ballgown for a Beauty and the Beast anniversary special that will air on ABC in celebration of the beloved film’s 30th birthday. Not only will viewers get to revisit the animated classic in a unique hybrid of live-action and animation, they’ll also be treated to “live never-before-seen musical performances” that feature “brand-new sets and costumes inspired by the classic story.”
H.E.R., who is set to make her acting debut in the upcoming musical adaptation of The Color Purple, is thrilled to be playing the strong-willed, bookish princess. “I can’t believe I get to be a part of the Beauty and the Beast legacy,” she shared with Variety. “The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle! 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.”
Director Jon M. Chu — known for his work on Crazy Rich Asians, In the Heights, and the forthcoming Wicked — is also very excited to have the Grammy-winning musician on board to bring Belle into 2022 and beyond. “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 said. “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.”
We’ve got some very important questions about this whole show. Will H.E.R. don the aforementioned golden-colored ballgown? Will we see her perform alongside silverware and candelabras doing the can-can for “Be Our Guest?” Who’s playing the Beast? Will Mrs. Potts be there? Hopefully more details are announced soon, because our Beauty and the Beast-loving hearts can’t wait much longer! The special will air on ABC later this winter on December 15 and will be available on Disney+ the next day.
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