Elise in Demme’s ‘Beloved’

Kimberly Elise, who co-starred in New Line Cinema’s “Set It Off,” has signed for Jonathan Demme’s “Beloved” as the first of her two-pic commitment to Touchstone, sources said Thursday.

Elise will play a slave in the Civil War-era story who escapes to freedom with her kids. When she is recaptured, she kills one of the kids rather than submitting the child to slavery.

Oprah Winfrey stars, and Danny Glover is also signed for the pic. Demme is helming.

Pic is based on Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Winfrey’s Harpo Prods. and Ed Saxon of Demme’s Clinica Estetico are producing. Exec producer is Ron Bozman.

Touchstone inked Elise to “Beloved” with the proviso that the studio has first refusal on her next pic.

Elise also appeared in the B.O. hit “Set It Off” and “The Ditchdigger’s Daughters” for Family Channel.

Her deal was brokered by Linda MacAdam at DDK and attorney Nina Shaw. Her manager is Evan Hainey at de Passe Entertainment.

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