Dave Matthews is venturing into some familiar unfamiliar territory, and we're not talking about his solo album.
The twice Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter has signed on to play a drifter in the movie "Because of Winn-Dixie." The film is drawn from a novel of the same name about a lonely 10-year-old girl who befriends an unwanted dog she finds in front of her small town's supermarket.
Although "Because of Winn-Dixie," a 20th Century Fox production, will mark Matthews' first foray into big studio filmmaking, it won't be the first time he's acted. It won't even be the first time he's been in a movie about a small town kid who likes dogs.
Nearly four years ago Matthews starred in the independent drama "Where the Red Fern Grows," which was also based on a book about a young kid in a small town who befriends a canine (or two). The movie made the festival circuit awhile back but is reportedly still searching for wider distribution.
In the early '90s, the South Africa native was reportedly in several plays in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he tended bar before beginning a career in music. "Because of Winn-Dixie" begins shooting next month, and Jeff Daniels ("Dumb and Dumber") is in negotiations to star, while director Wayne Wang ("Maid in Manhattan") has already been secured.
Also on the music and film tip, the title track from Matthews' forthcoming solo disc, Some Devil, will play during the closing credits of November's drug drama "21 Grams," which stars Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts ("The Ring").
Some Devil, which features the leadoff single "Gravedigger" and is Matthews' first full-on studio album without his longtime backing band, is due September 23 (see "Dave Matthews Digs Up A Video For His First Solo Single").