Emma Watson to Play Romantic Lead in New Fantasy 1Emma Watson is having no trouble in her post-Potter career lining up interesting role and moves to leading lady for the first time in a new fantasy film, based on the classic “Beauty and the Beast.”

Watson has been tapped by director Guillermo Del Toro to star in the picture, producer Denise Di Novi told movie Web site ComingSoon.

Of significance, Di Novi will be counting on Watson to carry the movie as the lead romantic interest.

Her other two post-Potter movies “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and “My Week With Marilyn” have her playing subordinate roles.

Perks is an ensemble picture and Michelle Williams has been cast in the lead for “Marilyn.”

The movie unfolds in the early summer of 1956, and Colin Clark, 23, fresh out of Oxford is working as an assistant on the set of “The Prince and the Showgirl,” which stars Sir Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, who was just coming into he own as an actress.

When her new husband, playwright Arthur Miller, leaves Britain where the film is being shot, Clark strikes up a friendship with Monroe and they spend a week together traveling the countryside.

Watson had been cast in the small role of wardrobe assistant, Lucy.

Perks, however, will be depending on Watson’s star power. She plays Sam, one of three protagonists in the film, which centers on Charlie (Logan Lerman), a high-school freshman,.

He must cope with his own mental issues while trying to figure out where he fits in. He is introduced to the world of sex and drugs by senior friends, Sam (Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller).

Watson also is not giving up on school. She recently said she plans to study at Oxford for a year, and will return to Brown University to graduate, hopefully by 2012.

She is still enrolled at Brown as a student, on leave to study abroad.

As for Del Toro, he’s finishing up “Pacific Rim,” a sci-fi tale about a clash between robots and aliens film.

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