David Alan Grier is the latest star to join H.E.R. as princess Belle in the hybrid animated/live-action Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Anniversary special.
Martin Short, Shania Twain, Rizwan Manji, Jon Jon Briones, and Leo Abelo Perry have also been cast. They all join previously cast Josh Groban as the Beast, Joshua Henry as Gaston, and Rita Moreno as narrator.
Jon M. Chu is executive producing with Hamish Hamilton directing the special which will lead audiences through the world of Belle with never-before-seen live musical performances. Each performance will pay homage to the timeless tale as well as new sets and costumes inspired by the classic story.
Songs from the original animated classic will be performed in front of a live audience at Disney Studios.
Grier will play Cogsworth, Short joins as Lumière, and Twain will portray Mrs. Potts. Manji will play Gaston’s loyal sidekick Le Fou, Briones portrays Belle’s loving father, Maurice; and Perry is Mrs. Potts’ son Chip.
Presented by The Wonderful World of Disney, the two-hour Beauty and the Beast reimagining will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios. It will air Dec. 15 on ABC and be available on Disney+ the next day. The BATB special will feature never-before-seen musical performances, new sets and costumes inspired by the classic story.
Presented by The Wonderful World of Disney, the two-hour reimagining airs Thursday, December 15 at 8 PM EST on ABC, and will be available the next day on Disney+.
H.E.R.’s casting marks the first time an Afro Filipina woman will play the role of Belle on screen.
This year, 2022, marks the 30th anniversary of when Disney Animation’s Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The film went on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, while the theme song “Beauty and the Beast” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992.
Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration is produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Executive producers are Chu, Caitlin Foito, Hamilton, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan. Hamish Hamilton will serve as director. H.E.R. serves as a producer.