Beyonce To Star Opposite Steve Martin In 'Pink Panther'

Singer to play object of Inspector Jacques Clouseau's affection.

Another older man is after Beyoncé ... much older.

When Steve Martin revives the role of Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the upcoming "The Pink Panther" prequel, the object of his affection will be none other than the bootylicious R&B singer, according to an MGM spokesperson.

Beyoncé will play a pop star named Xania whose boyfriend is the owner of the infamous Pink Panther diamond. When he is found dead and the diamond turns up missing, she becomes a suspect.

Clouseau comes into the picture when Chief Inspector Dreyfus, played by Kevin Kline, needs him to take over the investigation. To keep tabs on the accident-prone investigator, Dreyfus hires Ponton, portrayed by veteran French actor Jean Reno ("Mission: Impossible"), to be Clouseau's right-hand man. The investigation is, of course, hindered when Clouseau meets Xania and is immediately smitten by the beautiful singer.

Shawn Levy ("Cheaper by the Dozen") is directing the comedy, a prequel to the 1963 original, which launched the classic series with Peter Sellers as Clouseau.

"The Pink Panther" will film in New York and Paris beginning in May, after Beyoncé wraps the Ladies First Tour with Alicia Keys and Missy Elliott (see "Nervous Beyonce Preps Dolce Glam On Eve Of Ladies First Tour"). The movie will delay Beyoncé's return to the studio with Destiny's Child by at least a month (see "Beyonce Puts Off Second Solo LP To Reunite Destiny's Child").

Beyoncé made her acting debut in the 2001 MTV movie "Carmen: A Hip Hopera" and followed it up with starring roles in "Austin Powers in Goldmember" and "The Fighting Temptations." The singer recently released "Naughty Girl," the fourth single from her solo album, Dangerously in Love (see "Beyonce Dances, Flirts With Usher In 'Naughty Girl' Video").