UPDATE: All's been quiet on this project since it was first announced almost seven months ago, but now Variety brings word that "Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo del Toro is officially on board to direct the new live-action adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast." He was apparently originally on board only as a producer.
Emma Watson is also in "final negotiations" to take on what we're assuming is the first half of the title role, with "Bridget Jones' Diary" scribe Andrew Davis set to write the screenplay.
Really, this movie can't get here soon enough. Meanwhile, del Toro is wrapping up "Pacific Rim" at Warner Bros. and Watson is set to reunite with her "Harry Potter" director David Yates for "Your Voice in My Head."
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Guillermo del Toro is considered by many critics and fans to be the master of the modern fantasy film, thanks to boundlessly imaginative and often eerily dark films like "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Hellboy." But what might have happened if del Toro had directed the undisputed king of Hollywood fantasy franchises, "Harry Potter?"
Well, now we're going to get as close as possible to finding out, because according to ComingSoon, del Toro has signed on to direct a new adaptation of the classic fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" -- and it's set to star none other than Hermione herself, Emma Watson.
Unfortunately, details are pretty much non-existent beyond that basic fact and the fact that the movie is being produced by "Crazy, Stupid, Love" producer Denise Di Novi, who previous produced classics like "Edward Scissorhands" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
Still, given del Toro's track record, it's safe to assume that this won't exactly be the Disney version of "Beauty and the Beast." We're also guessing that Watson will be playing Beauty rather than the Beast -- just going out on a limb there -- but whatever direction she takes the character, we can't wait to see how her collaboration with del Toro comes out.
It looks like the "Potter" kids will be all right after all.
Originally published on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 1:45 p.m. ET.