As previously reported, Beyonce will play Deena Jones, the character loosely based on the life of pop singer Diana Ross. Variety says a nationwide search will be held to cast the role of Effie, created on Broadway to Tony-winning effect by Jennifer Holliday.
Bill Condon, who wrote the script for the "Chicago" motion picture, has adapted Dreamgirls for film. He will also direct the movie musical, which is being executive produced by Patricia Witcher.
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," "I'm Somebody," "Family" and Effie's first-act show stopper, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."