If you were hoping to see chart-topper Usher and R&B diva Beyoncé Knowles sharing the big screen in the forthcoming film “Dreamgirls,” you’d better keep your fingers crossed.
Contrary to a report in Thursday’s Variety, spokespeople for the Grammy-winning singer say he has not signed on for the project — an adaptation of the Broadway musical believed to be loosely based on the Diana Ross-led act the Supremes. The Hollywood trade magazine claimed the film will also feature Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx.
“Usher has not confirmed his participation in the film ’Dreamgirls,’ and a deal with DreamWorks has not been set or finalized,” reads a statement issued Friday (May 13) afternoon by Usher’s manager (and mother), Jonnetta Patton.
The Variety piece claimed Usher had been secured for the role of choreographer C.C. White. Knowles has signed on to 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 “Beyoncé In Talks For Potential ’Dream’ Film Role” ). The film 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.
Variety also reported that 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, as he’s been cast to play Curtis Taylor Jr., the Dreams’ controlling manager.
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 “Beyoncé To Star Opposite Steve Martin In ’Pink Panther’ “ ). 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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