Called "The Beast", the film will be on the darker side of the 1991 animated classic - yet still retain the big-budget fantasy elements that have made Maleficent "Alice in Wonderland" and "Oz The Great and Powerful" smash hits for the Mouse House. Live action versions of "Cinderella" and The Jungle Book are on the way as well.
Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls") has signed on to direct while "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" writer/director Stephen Chbosky wrote the latest script draft
UK writer Joe Ahearne ("Trance") was tipped to write the first draft but Evan Spiliotopoulos penned the original draft instead.
David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce the film.
Watson had been attached to Guillermo del Toro's adaptation of the story at Warner Bros called "Beauty" but that project stalled last year. Del Toro apparently gave Watson his blessing for her to jump to the Disney version.
Watson revealed the news in a Facebook post: