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Emma Watson stuns as Belle in 'Beauty and the Beast' sneak peek

Disney will release a live-action remake of its 1991 animated classic in 2017.

By Annie Martin
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Emma Watson stuns as Belle in 'Beauty and the Beast' sneak peek
Emma Watson at the Costume Institute Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2. The actress plays Belle in Disney's live-action "Beauty and the Beast." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Beauty and the Beast fans got their first real glimpse of Emma Watson as Belle on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old English actress and Dan Stevens, 34, brought the Disney classic to life for the Nov. 11 cover of Entertainment Weekly.

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"I can't even think how many times I watched it as a child," Watson said of the 1991 animated version. "I knew all the words by heart. I knew all the songs by heart."

Watson and Stevens channeled Belle and the Beast's dance to "Beauty and the Beast" for the cover. Costume designer Jacqueline Durran told the magazine it took several tries to get the actress' iconic gown right.

"We tested a lot of yellows. It was just trying to work out the tone. It's still made of silk, but it has a satin finish, so it's less transparent than other organza," she revealed. "There is a cage under some parts of [the skirt]. But mainly it's layers of organza that just give it a lift, for it to have lightness."

"For Emma, it was important that the dress wouldn't be restrictive and that it had a lot of movement," Durran added. "In Emma's reinterpretation, Belle is an active princess. She did not want a dress that was corseted or that would impede her in any way."

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Disney had announced the live-action remake starring Watson in January 2015. The film will co-star Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen and Josh Gad, with Chicago helmer Bill Condon as director.

"I was so excited to hear that Disney was thinking about doing a live-action version," Condon said in a behind-the-scenes video in September. "When something is so perfect, why get near it? The answer is technology has caught up to the ideas that were introduced in that movie."

Beauty and the Beast will open in theaters March 17, 2017. Paige O'Hara, who voiced Belle in the 1991 version, told USA Today in September that Watson is a perfect pick for the live-action remake.

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