Washington (ANI): Queen Latifah and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson have signed on to star in the movie adaptation of the Sue Monk Kidd novel 'The Secret Life of Bees". Also joining the cast of the Fox Searchlight pic is Sophie Okonedo. Dakota Fanning and singer Alicia Keys are in talks to join the Gina Prince-Bythewood directed movie. Prince-Bythewood has also penned the script for the pic, reports Variety.
The pic revolves around the character of Lily Owens, a 14-year-old who runs away from her home with her caregiver and only friend, to be played by Hudson, to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There she meets a trio of eccentric beekeeping sisters, to be played by Latifah, Okonedo and Keys, who take her in,
Shooting is scheduled to begin Jan. 9 in North Carolina, and the pic will be released by Fox Searchlight in 2008. On board as producers are Lauren Shuler Donner, Jack Leslie, James Lassiter, Will Smith and Joe Pichirallo. "Secret Life of Bees" was published in 2002 and became a long-running New York Times bestseller.