The multi-talented actress, singer and songwriter H.E.R. has been cast to play Princess Belle in ABC’s upcoming animated special, Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.
Beauty and the Beast – which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the 1991 film of the same name – will be directed by Hamish Hamilton and executive produced by Jon M. Chu. According to Variety, it will also include live performances, along with costumes and set designs that serves as an ode to Disney’s classic story of love.
“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,” said Chu. “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.”
H.E.R. has won several Grammy Awards, including “Best R&B Album,” and “Song Of The Year.” She also won an Academy Award for the song “Fight for You” from the film Judas and the Black Messiah. She’ll make her feature film debut next year in The Color Purple, which stars Fantasia, Danielle Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, Louis Gossett, Jr., and many more.
“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. in a statement. “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.”
Done+Dusted is producing the Beauty and the Beast special in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Chu and Hamilton will executive produce along with Caitlin Foito, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan. H.E.R. will have an additional producer credit.
The special will be taped in front of a live audience and air on ABC on Dec. 15 at 8pm EST and will be available to stream on Disney+ the following day.