Hudson, Latifah and Sophie Okonedo ("Tsunami, The Aftermath," "Hotel Rwanda") have been announced to co-star in the new feature written and directed by Gina Prince Bythewood ("Love & Basketball"). Filming will begin in January in North Carolina for a release, by Fox Searchlight, later in 2008. The trade publication also notes Dakota Fanning ("War of the Worlds") and Alicia Keys ("Smokin' Aces") are in negotiations to appear.
Based on the Sue Monk Kidd 2002 novel of the same title, "Bees" follows the tale of a young girl (Fanning) who runs away with her friend/caregiver (Hudson) and comes upon a trio of sisters (Latifah, Okonedo, Keys), who take them in. The 1964-set coming-of-age drama will also feature Tristan Wilds ("The Wire").
Latifah followed up her Academy Award-nominated turn in "Chicago" (as Mama Morton) with another movie musical role this summer in "Hairspray" (as Motormouth Maybelle). The singer-actress has also appeared in "Stranger Than Fiction," "Beauty Shop," "Set It Off," "Scary Movie 3" and in voice on "Ice Age: The Meltdown."
Hudson earned an Oscar for her acclaimed film debut in "Dreamgirls" as Effie White. The one-time "American Idol" contestant will next appear in "Sex and the City: The Movie."