Angela Bassett has inked to star opposite Laurence Fishburne and Keke Palmer in Lions Gate Films/2929 Entertainment’s upcoming pic “Akeelah and the Bee.”
Pic, which Doug Atchinson is directing from his own script, starts shooting Feb. 6 in Los Angeles.
Bassett will play Wanda, the mother of Palmer’s character. Palmer was nominated for a SAG Award Tuesday for her performance in TNT’s “The Wool Cap.”
Pic reteams Bassett with Fishburne after they starred together in the Tina Turner biopic “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
“Bee” concerns an 11-year-old from South Los Angeles whose journey to compete in the National Spelling Bee unites her community.
Sid Ganis, Nancy Hult Ganis and Danny Llewelyn produce the pic.
Bassett’s upcoming films include “The Lazarus Child,” in which she stars with Andy Garcia and Francis O’Connor, and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
“This is a feel-good movie with great family values,” said Mike Paseornek, Lions Gate Films president of production. “Spelling bees have become popular with people as a spectator sport. And as a basis for a dramatic film, the time is right.”