Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast

The 21-year-old is believed to be in the final stages of talks to play Belle in a new adaptation of the fairytale.

Beauty And The Beast tells the story of how the young, beautiful Belle is told she must live in a castle with the Beast, a former prince turned into a monster by a curse.

The story is one of the most loved fairytales. The Disney adaptation is the most famous version to date, winning two Oscars in 1991.

The new adaptation will reportedly be simply named Beast, with Bridget Jones' Diary write Andrew Davies writing the screenplay.

The film, slated for release in 2014, will be directed by Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro.