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Fox Searchlight finds plenty holding onto ‘Secret’

They originally were on board to produce the picture in 04, it got picked up by Focus Features and finally has found its way back home. Picked up from turnaround, Fox Searchlight Pictures are quick to get a jump start on their new production slated for a 2008 shoot and release. Once a North Carolina native David Gordon Green project, The Secret Life of Bees finds helmer Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) behind the camera working from her own script.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the project will have a who's who of female talent: Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Sophie Okonedo will star in the pic and are hoping to get Dakota Fanning and Alicia Keys on board as well.

“Bees,” a drama set in the Southern U.S. in the 1960s, centers on teenager Lily Owens (Fanning) and her friend Rosaleen (Hudson) who flee their hometown 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 in to their South Carolina home.

The Donners' Co. is producing “Bees” along with Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment; Lauren Shuler Donner and Jack Leslie are producing for Donners, while James Lassiter and Smith are producing for Overbrook. Joe Pichirallo also is attached as a producer.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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