People are mistaking this photoshopped image of Emma Watson as Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ for the real thing

Fans at Disney’s biannual D23 event were in for a treat Saturday when Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures president, Sean Bailey, presented a long list of Disney’s upcoming live action films. 

Among the announcements was a first look at 2017’s adaptation of the beloved classic “Beauty and the Beast,” which will star Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) as Prince Adam / the Beast.

According to MTV, a glimpse of Emma Watson as Belle was shown to fans in attendance. 

Since then, an image of Watson in Belle’s iconic golden gown has appeared online.

You may have seen the image that’s making the rounds:

Emma watson belle

It started picking up after the image was tweeted out by Twitter user Mariah Moon (@thesimpleparent) with the D23 event hashtag #D23Expo:

There’s just one problem.

No image of Watson was ever released by the studio.

Though Moon noted the image tweeted was believed to be a fan compilation, that didn’t stop many from believing it was an official image released by the studio.



The image even showed up on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages for “The Ellen Show.”

Can’t wait to bring another wonderful Disney character to life. All I’m asking for is an audition.

A photo posted by Ellen (@theellenshow) on Aug 17, 2015 at 2:19pm PDT

However, the image circulating online was made six months ago by artist Prateek Mathur.

Here’s one of the full images made by Mathur.

Prateek mathur beauty and the beast

Mathur, whose work can be found on his website here, has worked on visual effects on films including “Men in Black 3” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” the latter is a film in which Watson starred.

In an email to Tech Insider, Mathur says he started work on his own concept art of the actress in Belle’s iconic yellow gown around February 12 after learning Watson was officially cast in the role of Belle in Disney’s live-action adaptation.  

“I am a huge fan of Disney, so when I [learned] about the live action movie, I [went] straight into Photoshop and designed this concept art,” Mathur tells Tech Insider.

The finished image of Watson as Belle is a composite of several different images of the actress blended together with the Disney dress. Mathur says the concept fan art took about 5-7 hours in a row to complete.

Mathur uploaded a behind-the-scenes video to Vimeo showing how he created the fan poster for the 2016 movie.

Here’s how it came together.

The look for Emma’s face came from one photo:

Emma watson photoshop

Touchups were made to her hair and face.

Emma watson photoshop 2

A golden dress reminiscent of Belle’s iconic gown was added.

Emma watson belle

In fact, the actual character was used to create the fan art as well.

Belle beauty and the beast

Next, this image of Watson was used for her neck and shoulders.

Emma watson belle .
Belle photoshop 3

Her arms were then taken from this photo of Watson posing for her role in the “Harry Potter” movies and were mirrored to get them just right.

Emma watson harry potter photoshop
Belle emma watson photoshop
Emma watson photoshop 4
Emma watson photoshop 5

The Beast’s iconic rose was then added.

Belle photoshop emma watson 6

A custom background was made in which to place Watson.

Belle background photoshop
Photoshop belle background

Revisions were made to Watson’s hair and dress …

Belle photoshop emma watson
Emma watson belle dress photoshop
Emma watson belle dress photoshop 2

And the vision was complete.

Belle fan poster emma watson

Mathur says he has received a lot of fan feedback after making the image, and that he’s planning to work on a new version of Watson as the Disney princess.

“It was beyond my expectation,” said Mathur of the response to the image. “There was several mistakes which real fans of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ shared with me and I really appreciate their feedback. Moreover, I am looking to develop a new piece of artwork based on that feedback.”

You can watch the making of his “Beauty and the Beast” fan poster below:

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