"American Idol" winner Fantasia had long been rumored for the part that made a Broadway star of Jennifer Holiday, but it seems the role has gone to Hudson, who appeared in the Actors' Fund benefit concert of Hair.
Hudson told the Daily News, "I was sure Fantasia got [the part]. But they said they wanted me. They said I was born for this."
As previously announced, the "Dreamgirls" film musical will feature Beyonce Knowles as Deena Jones, Anika Noni Rose as Lorrell Robinson, Jamie Foxx as Curtis Taylor Jr., Eddie Murphy as James "Thunder" Early, Danny Glover as Marty Madison and Hinton Battle as Wayne.
"Dreamgirls" is being produced by DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. 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."