Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Sophie Okonedo ("Hotel Rwanda") will share the same screen in "The Secret Life of Bees," a coming-of-age story for Fox Searchlight.
Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning are in final negotiations to join the ensemble cast, to be directed by "Love & Basketball" helmer Gina Prince-Bythewood.
Based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd and set in the 1960s South, "Bees" follows teenager Lily Owens (Fanning) and her friend Rosaleen (Hudson) who run away from home to escape their harsh upbringing and seek to uncover the mysteries of Lily's late mother. Along the way, they encounter three beekeeping sisters (Latifah, Okonedo, Keys) who take the pair into their South Carolina home.
The film is scheduled to begin shooting next month in North Carolina for a planned release date in late 2008.