The cast for the upcoming DreamWorks film “Dreamgirls” is starting to take shape. Not only has pop diva Beyoncé Knowles signed on for one of the film’s starring roles, according to Hollywood trade magazine Variety, but Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx and chart-topper Usher have also joined the cast.
Knowles will play Deena Jones, the leader of a trio of female soul singers called the Dreams, who cross over to the pop charts during the early 1960s (see “Beyonce In Talks For Potential ’Dream’ Film Role” ). The film — an adaptation of the Broadway musical, believed to be loosely based on the Diana Ross-led act the Supremes — will be directed by Bill Condon (“Kinsey,” “Gods and Monsters”), who also wrote the film’s screenplay. Condon was the scribe who brought the stage musical “Chicago” to the big screen.
Foxx — who won this year’s Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the late Ray Charles — will once again get to display his singing voice, Variety says, as he’ll be playing Curtis Taylor Jr., the Dreams’ controlling manager. Usher has been secured for the role of choreographer C.C. White.
DreamWorks is said to be considering actor Eddie Murphy for the role of singer James “Thunder” Early, a love-’em-and-leave-’em R&B star who gives the Dreams their first big break. The filmmakers will launch a nationwide search to find their Effie, the Dreams’ rotund, vocal powerhouse — a role made famous by Broadway actress Jennifer Holliday. The producers have said they’d prefer an unknown for Effie.
“Dreamgirls” is slated to begin production in January.
Knowles will be seen this summer, alongside Steve Martin, in the film “The Pink Panther” (see “Beyonce To Star Opposite Steve Martin In ’Pink Panther’ “ ) while production on Usher’s latest film, “Dying for Dolly,” recently wrapped up; Usher will star as a man who saves the life of a mob boss and is rewarded for the deed with a gig protecting the mobster’s beautiful daughter (see “Usher Breaks Form In ’Dying For Dolly’ By Not Dancing”). Foxx will soon start work on the big-screen adaptation of the popular 1980s glitzy cop drama “Miami Vice,” in which he’ll play Detective Ricardo Tubbs.
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