Glover Cast in "Dreamgirls" Film; Battle Joins, Too

News   Glover Cast in "Dreamgirls" Film; Battle Joins, Too Stage and screen star Danny Glover is the latest addition to the cast of "Dreamgirls," the eagerly awaited film based on the hit musical of the same name.
Danny Glover
Danny Glover Photo by Aubrey Reuben

As previously announced, the film musical will feature Beyonce Knowles as Deena Jones, Anika Noni Rose as Lorrell Robinson, Jamie Foxx as Curtis Taylor Jr. and Eddie Murphy as James "Thunder" Early. Glover, according to the Hollywood Reporter, will play Marty Madison, Early's manager.

Three-time Tony Award winner Hinton Battle will also be part of the film. A spokesperson for the actor told Playbill.com that Battle will play the role of Wayne, which was created on Broadway by Tony Franklin. Battle received Tony Awards for his performances in Sophisticated Ladies, The Tap Dance Kid and Miss Saigon.

"Dreamgirls" is being produced by DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. No casting has been announced for the role of Effie White, although "American Idol" winner Fantasia has been rumored to take on the role that won Jennifer Holliday a Tony Award in the show's original Broadway production.

Bill Condon, who penned the film's screenplay, will also direct "Dreamgirls," which will employ the original score by Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger. Production for the film is scheduled to begin in January 2006, and the new movie musical is set to hit screens around the country in December of that year.

"Dreamgirls," according to a recent casting release, is described thusly: "Set in the early 1960's to the 1970's, this is the story of the amazing 'Dreams' — three African-American girl singers from the projects of Detroit who break their hearts on the path to stardom." Dreamgirls, which concerns the rise of a Supremes-like singing group amid a flurry of infighting, debuted at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre on Dec. 9, 1982, playing 1,521 performances before closing Aug. 11, 1985. The original cast featured Obba Babatundé, Cleavant Derricks, Loretta Devine, Ben Harney, Jennifer Holliday, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Deborah Burrell. The show lost the Tony for Best Musical to Maury Yeston’s Nine. A 1987 revival at the Ambassador Theatre starred Lillias White, Alisa Gyse, Kevyn Morrow, Weyman Thompson and Arnetia Walker.

Dreamgirls song titles include "One Night Only," "I Am Changing," "When I First Saw You," "Family" and Effie's first-act show stopper, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."

Danny Glover starred on Broadway in both the original 1982 and the 2003 revival of "MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the boys, earning a Theatre World Award for his work in the play's first staging. The actor was nominated for four Emmy Awards for his performances in "Freedom Song," "Fallen Angels," "Lonesome Dove" and "Mandela." His film credits include "Silverado," "The Color Purple," "Lethal Weapon" and "Saw."