The event is presented by The Wonderful World of Disney. It’s executive produced by Jon M. Chu and directed by Hamish Hamilton, and will be taped in front of a live audience before airing on ABC on December 15th.
“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the Beauty and the Beast legacy,” H.E.R. said in a statement. “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.”
“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 added. “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.”
The animated classic Beauty and the Beast debuted late in 1991, though this 30th anniversary special could mark the film’s 1992 Oscar nomination for Best Picture, as well as its Oscar win for Best Song for “Beauty and the Beast.” No other casting details have been disclosed at this time.