Movies

Jamie Foxx, Usher join Beyonce in ''Dreamgirls''

Jamie Foxx, Usher join Beyonce in ''Dreamgirls.'' Producers are also in talks with Eddie Murphy to join the cast of the movie musical

After his Oscar-winning turn as Ray Charles, Jamie Foxx will play another key figure in R&B music history: Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. Okay, he’s not actually playing Gordy, but rather, Curtis Taylor Jr., the fictionalized Gordy who orchestrates the rise of a Supremes-like trio in Dreamgirls, Variety reports. Also climbing aboard the Broadway-to-big-screen musical is Usher, who’ll play C.C. White, the group’s choreographer. They join the cast a month after DreamWorks signed real-life girl-group frontwoman Beyoncé to star in the adaptation. The studio plans to shoot the film in January (pushed back from this fall) in Los Angeles.

In talks for a rare dramatic supporting role is Eddie Murphy. He’s the studio’s choice to play James ”Thunder” Early, a James Brown/Marvin Gaye-type entertainer who gives the trio their first big break as backup singers. Apparently, Beyoncé is playing Deena, the Diana Ross-like lead, because the filmmakers (led by writer-director Bill Condon, who earned an Oscar nomination for his Chicago screenplay) are planning a nationwide search for an unknown to play the splashier role of Effie, the plus-sized singer who gets to belt ”And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going.” Our recommendation: American Idol Season 3 finalist Jennifer Hudson.

Originally posted May 12 2005 — 12:00 AM EDT

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