Posted Dec. 21, 2007 -- Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Sophie Okonedo ("Hotel Rwanda") will share the same screen in "The Secret Life of Bees," a coming-of-age story for Fox Searchlight.
Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning are in final negotiations to join the ensemble cast, to be directed by "Love & Basketball" helmer Gina Prince-Bythewood.
Based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd and set in the 1960s South, "Bees" follows teenager Lily Owens (Fanning) and her friend Rosaleen (Hudson) who run away from home to escape their harsh upbringing and seek to uncover the mysteries of Lily's late mother. Along the way, they encounter three beekeeping sisters (Latifah, Okonedo, Keys) who take the pair into their South Carolina home.
The film is scheduled to begin shooting next month in North Carolina for a planned release date in late 2008.
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Former "Lost" Star Joins "G.I. Joe"
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (ABC's "Lost") has been cast in a forthcoming live action movie based on the military doll, comic book and cartoon series, "G.I. Joe."
The original cartoon featured military soldiers fighting a terrorist group called Cobra, with characters like the mute ninja Snake Eyes (Park) among the good guys.
In the upcoming Paramount production, "G.I. Joe" stands for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, an international force of operatives set in Brussels. Akinnuoye-Agbaje, a British born actor of Nigerian descent, will play an ordnance expert in the Stephen Sommers-directed project.
Rachel Nichols will play a skilled martial artist who specializes in hand-to-hand combat and counterintelligence. Said Taghmaoui ("The Kite Runner") has signed on to portray the team's communications specialist, while Diddy's one-time rumored flame Sienna Miller will play the Baroness, known for her espionage skills.
"G.I. Joe" is set for release in August 2009.