Casting News: Tales of Two Winnies, and Eric Dane Goes to a 'Burlesque' Show


As this holiday sees the release of Invictus about South African president Nelson Mandela and the World Cup, there’s already talk of a film that’s centered on his wife, Winnie.

Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar in her acting debut with Dreamgirls, is returning to films to play Winnie Mandela. The film, which will be directed by Darrell J. Roodt, is based on the biography Winnie Mandela: A Life, by Anne Marie du Preez.

Winnie Mandela fought the ills of apartheid alongside her husband, and was jailed for demanding his release, but she faced legitimate legal troubles down the road. Hudson told Variety that she “was compelled and moved when I read the script. Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I’m honored to be the actress asked to portray her.” In addition to playing Winnie Mandela, Hudson is expected to sing the theme for the film.

You can never keep a good Pooh down. Production Weekly is reporting that Disney is working on a new Winnie the Pooh film that is based on five stories by A.A. Milne. Jim Cumming will voice Pooh and Tigger; Rabbit will be Spongebob Squarepants’ Tom Kenny, and Owl will come to life by late-night talk show host Craig Ferguson.

Grey’s Anatomy‘s McSteamy, Eric Dane, has signed on to join the musical film Burlesque. His addition rounds out a stellar ensemble cast with Cher, Christina Aguilera, Stanley Tucci, Cam Gigandet, Kristen Bell and Alan Cumming. Steve Antin is the writer and director of the Screen Gems production. In the film, Aguilera is a small-town girl with a big-time voice who finds success in a burlesque club. Dane’s role is that of the “charming, successful businessman,” who tries to buy the club from owner Tess (Cher). [Variety]

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