"Bees" keep a sweet role for Paul Bettany

Wed Jan 9, 2008 9:45am EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Paul Bettany has joined the cast of "The Secret Life of Bees," a drama based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd.

Bettany ("A Beautiful Mind," "The Da Vinci Code") will play the widowed father of the film's 14-year-old central character, Lily Owens. Dakota Fanning is in negotiations to play Lily.

Set in the 1960s South, "Bees" revolves around Lily and her friend Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), who flee their small town to escape their harsh upbringing and uncover the mysteries of Lily's late mother. Along the way, they are taken in by three sisters (Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo, Alicia Keys) who teach them the art of beekeeping.

Gina Prince-Bythewood is directing the Fox Searchlight film, which begins shooting this week in North Carolina.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 
<p>Paul Bettany poses for photographers in front of newly liveried 'Da Vinci Code' train at the Waterloo Eurostar station in London on May 16, 2006. Bettany has joined the cast of "The Secret Life of Bees," a drama based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty</p>