'Bees' Stings Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning


Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo are signed on to star in Fox Searchlight's "The Secret Lives of Bees," with Dakota Fanning in talks to join them.

According to Variety, Alicia Keys is also in talks to join the cast of "Bees," which will be adapted and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Love & Basketball").

Based on the 2002 novel by Sue Monk Kidd, the project is set in South Carolina in 1964 and would feature Fanning as a 14-year-old girl who runs away from home with her caregiver (Hudson). The take refuge from a trio of sassy beekeeping sisters. We're guessing that they teach her about the secret life of bees, but that bees are just a metaphor.

Production on "The Secret Life of Bees" will begin in January in North Carolina, with an eye toward a 2008 release.

An Oscar winner for "Dreamgirls," Hudson has most recently been working on the "Sex and the City" movie.

Hudson can wave around her Oscar on set to taunt Latifah ("Mad Money") and Okonedo ("Aeon Flux"), non-victorious nominees for "Chicago" and "Hotel Rwanda" respectively.

Keyes ("Smokin' Aces") will have to show off her pile of Grammys, while Fanning ("Charlotte's Web") will just be satisfied with her MTV Movie Award and the ability to move objects using only her mind (or so we hear).

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