Cast & Crew
In early 1960s Detroit, childhood friends Effie White, Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson attempt to participate in a big talent contest, but because Effie, the powerhouse lead singer of their group, The Dreamettes, is late, the girls are told they cannot perform. Curtis Taylor, Jr., an ambitious Cadillac salesman who wants to break into the music business, persuades the manager to allow The Dreamettes to go on. When he sees how talented the teenaged girls are, Curtis finagles them a job as backup singers for James "Thunder" Early, a charismatic R&B performer whose infidelities have cost him his usual singers. Although Effie is reluctant, as she considers singing backup a "trap," the other girls are enthusiastic, as is C. C., Effie's brother who is their songwriter and choreographer. They convince Effie to accept and also to allow Curtis to become their manager, and soon the starstruck girls are accompanying Jimmy on a ten-week, cross-country tour. The beautiful but naïve Deena and giggly Lorrell continue to follow the lead of curvaceous, boisterous Effie, whom Curtis has singled out for attention because he knows that she is the most talented. Jimmy attempts to flirt with Lorrell, but Lorrell, knowing that he is married, rebuffs him. After the tour, Effie begins a romance with Curtis, who tells Jimmy that he needs a "new sound" and gets him to listen to one of C. C.'s songs. Marty Madison, a more old-fashioned manager than the cunning Curtis, thinks that the song is low-class, but Jimmy likes the catchy tune and records it with The Dreamettes in a recording studio that Curtis and his partner, Wayne, have erected inside their car dealership. The group watches excitedly as the song moves up the charts, but then, as has happened frequently with other African-American artists, the song is re-recorded by white singers, with the original version being forgotten. Curtis, Jimmy and the girls are distraught, especially when the white group is featured on the influential television show American Bandstand . Determined to obtain more radio coverage, Curtis resorts to payola, the common practice of paying off radio deejays. To obtain the money, Curtis, Wayne and C. C. work overtime selling cars and gamble with the proceeds. Thanks to the bribes, which are recorded by Curtis in a ledger, Jimmy and the Dreamettes' next song reaches number one. Because of their new prestige, the group is invited to sing at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, where C. C. choreographs an elaborate show for them. Curtis begins his own record label, Rainbow Records, and Effie is proud of his progress when he releases a recording of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Hoping that Curtis will promote her more, Effie records a love song for him, and although Curtis promises her that he will not let her magnificent voice "go to waste," he cynically assumes that she is too dark-skinned and overweight to be his ticket to fame. Curtis is then confronted by Marty, who is furious that he is trying to book Jimmy into the prestigious, white-owned Paradise Hotel in Miami. Curtis in turn lambastes Marty for being so narrow-minded that he has kept Jimmy trapped in the "Chitlin' Circuit." After Jimmy affirms that Curtis is his new manager, the disillusioned Marty storms out. Reiterating his motto that Jimmy needs "a new sound," Curtis softens his rough, jive style, and when Jimmy and the Dreamettes become the first black headliners at the Paradise, they perform a sophisticated ballad. As the number continues, however, Jimmy cannot restrain himself from breaking into some funky dance steps, and the white audience reacts with distaste. After the show, Lorrell confides in Deena that she has lost her virginity to Jimmy, whom she loves even though he is still married. Curtis then informs the girls that they will be forming their own group, without Jimmy, and be renamed The Dreams because they are now grown up. The girls are thrilled by Curtis' designs for their new look until he tells them that Deena will sing lead while Effie will join Lorrell in singing backup. Although Curtis explains that the prettier, whiter-sounding Deena will ensure them television exposure, Effie is crushed, protesting that she is the one who has "the voice." Effie is humiliated when C. C. supports Curtis, but eventually they all persuade her to acquiesce by asserting that she will have more opportunities after they are famous. The hotel soon presents the debut of The Dreams, although even Deena's mother May has reservations about her daughter's abilities. Curtis is pleased when May observes that he is treating the malleable Deena like "a product," and continues to manufacture a polished image for the girls. As time passes, The Dreams become a sensation and fulfill Curtis' ambition by appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show . Effie is annoyed when Curtis praises Deena during press conferences, claiming that she is the "true story" behind The Dreams, and begins to act erratically. Tired of Effie's diva-like behavior, Curtis chastises her during a recording session and she declares that she knows he is sleeping with Deena, whom she accuses of stealing her dream and her man. Effie attempts to leave, but outside is stunned into immobility by rioters roaming the streets of Detroit. Curtis tenderly ushers her back inside but continues to favor Deena and criticizes Effie for gaining weight. Although Effie protests that she is unwell, everyone, including C. C., grows irritated by her behavior. Just before an important show, Effie is mortified to discover that she has been replaced in the group by Michelle Morris, Curtis' secretary. Despite Curtis' betrayal, Effie begs him to love her, but he turns his back on her. Now christened Deena Jones and the Dreams, the group achieves new heights over the next six years, with Curtis overseeing all aspects of their lives. Curtis and Deena, who have married, live in a Hollywood mansion, although Deena remains lonely and unfulfilled as Curtis builds his music empire. Curtis insists that Deena star in a black-produced film about Cleopatra, despite Deena's protests that she is too old for the part. Curtis attempts to placate her with vows of love, although Deena suspects that he is not interested in the real her, only in the image he can mold. Meanwhile, Effie, having descended into poverty, is attempting to rear her daughter Magic alone. Effie, who never told Curtis that he was a father, has trouble finding singing work because of her reputation for being difficult and asks Marty for help. While Marty attempts to find Effie a job, Jimmy records C. C.'s latest socially conscious song. Curtis dismisses the song, however, telling Jimmy that success is about selling records, not emoting. Crushed, Jimmy resorts to shooting heroin, much to Lorrell's dismay. Marty persuades nightclub owner Max Washington to audition Effie, who has been sabotaging herself due to her lack of confidence. When Marty and Max react negatively to Effie's excuses, she regains some of her former bravado and upon becoming the club's headliner, draws huge crowds. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Curtis' groups participate in a televised tribute for the tenth anniversary of Rainbow Records. Backstage, Lorrell tends to Jimmy, who deals with his personal and professional woes by continuing to get high. Lorrell realizes that Jimmy will never leave his wife, who is in the audience, and he ends her tirade by coldly telling her that he has a show to do. While singing the "mellow sounds" forced on him by Curtis, Jimmy changes tempo, declaring that he must be true to himself. His feisty performance wows the crowd, although Curtis is infuriated when Jimmy finishes by dropping his trousers. Curtis fires Jimmy, who turns to Lorrell for comfort, but she responds that she also has a show to do. Later, at Rainbow headquarters, C. C. upbraids Curtis for "squeezing the soul" out of his songs, while at home, Lorrell learns that Jimmy has died from an overdose. C. C. returns to Detroit but Effie, still hurt, refuses to acknowledge him until he corners her at a wake for Jimmy and explains that his newest song could be a hit if it is sung by her rather than becoming homogenized by Curtis. Effie records the song, "One Night Only," and it becomes popular in Detroit. When Curtis hears it, he buys up all the copies, bribes deejays not to play it and, without telling Deena of its origin, has her re-record it in a disco version. Effie watches with despair as Deena, Lorrell and Michelle perform the song on television, and later, Deena is distressed when Curtis reprimands her for meeting with a movie director behind his back. Declaring that Deena is nothing but what he made her, Curtis warns her that he will never let her out of her contract. Deena discovers that "One Night Only" originally was Effie's and, realizing that she is at a crossroads, uncovers Curtis' ledgers detailing his bribery and mob connections. After Deena contacts them, Marty, C. C. and their lawyer confront Curtis, threatening that if he does not allow Effie's version of "One Night Only" to be distributed nationwide, they will go public with the evidence of his corruption. Deena, who has reconciled with Effie, leaves Curtis, telling him that she needs a new sound. Soon after, at the farewell performance of Deena Jones and the Dreams, Curtis watches glumly as Deena proudly welcomes Effie onstage to sing with the group. While Effie sings to Magic, Curtis follows her gaze and, in astonishment, deduces that Magic is his daughter. As the audience gives The Dreams a standing ovation, Magic cries with pride at her mother's accomplishment.
Anika Noni Rose
Lesley Nicole Lewis
Eboni Y. Nichols
Aakomon "aj" Jones
Barsheem Bernard Fowler
Anwar "flii Stylz" Burton
Laura Bell Bundy
Daren A. Herbert
Robert Curtis Brown
Gilbert Glenn Brown
Yvette Nicole Brown
Nanci E. Anderson
J. R. Taylor
Cornithea "mario" Henderson
Earl "punch" Wright
Russell "goofy" Wright
Stevie Ray Anthony
Jimmy R. O. Smith
Chris P. Anderson
Devon Renee Anderson
Yaa Boaa Aning
Joan Kelley Bierman
Tym Shutchai Buacharern
Malcolm Doran Ii
Jemal D. Guillory
R. L. Hohman
Thomas J. Hoke
Don J. Hug
Aakomon "aj" Jones
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actress
Best Costume Design
Best Supporting Actor
By the late '80s, Bennett had died of AIDS, which made Geffen even more determined to get the film right in Bennett's memory. He intended to make Dreamgirls at Warner Bros., where he had his production company, starring Whitney Houston as Deena, the character based on Supremes lead singer Diana Ross. The problem was that the juiciest role, and the showstopper song, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," belongs not to Deena, but to plump and insecure Effie, the singer with a powerhouse voice, who is pushed aside in favor of the more glamorous Deena. (Effie was based on Supreme Florence Ballard, whose real life was more tragic than that of the ultimately triumphant Effie.) But Houston demanded all best songs for herself, including "And I Am Telling You." A few years later, director Joel Schumacher wanted to make the film with singer Lauryn Hill as Deena, but it never happened. It was not until after the film version of the musical Chicago became a hit and an Oscar® winner in 2002 that interest in making Dreamgirls revived. The film finally went into production in 2006 with Bill Condon directing and produced by Dreamworks SKG, the production company founded by Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Geffen refused to take a producer credit on the film, saying he was "just a facilitator."
By that time, Beyoncé Knowles had left the successful pop trio Destiny's Child and launched a solo career. Knowles's sleek glamour was ideal for Deena, but casting the more demanding role of Effie was challenging since it needed dramatic as well as vocal chops. More than 780 singers and actresses reportedly auditioned for the part, which went to Jennifer Hudson, a semi-finalist on the television pop singing competition program American Idol in 2004. Hudson, a gospel singer who had a six-octave vocal range, had no acting experience, and her only prior professional singing gig was on Disney cruise ships. She packed on an extra twenty-five pounds to play Effie. There were rumors, denied by both women, that there was friction between Hudson and Knowles during production. Jamie Fox played the Berry Gordy character and Anika Noni Rose was the third member of the girl group, called the Dreams in the film.
Hudson's intense performance earned her both a Golden Globe and an Oscar® as Best Supporting Actress. A scene-stealing Eddie Murphy also won a Golden Globe and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar® for his energetic turn as a performer based on the likes of James Brown and Jackie Wilson. Dreamgirls earned a total of eight Oscar® nominations, but surprisingly, not a Best Picture nod. It won only one other, for best sound mixing.
As befits a grand, old-fashioned movie musical, Dreamgirls began its run as major Hollywood productions of the 1950s used to, with a "road show engagement" in major cities, featuring reserved seating and $25 ticket prices. There was also a souvenir booklet and special lobby exhibits featuring costumes and props from the film. Reviews for Dreamgirls ranged from respectful to raves. Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers called it "a movie that has everything: a blazing new star in Jennifer Hudson, a riveting, revitalized Eddie Murphy, a hot-lick score...a timely story about how music can sell its soul to greed and compromise, and a dynamo of a director and screenwriter in Bill Condon." But about Hudson's searing performance, there was near-unanimity. Mick LaSalle's San Francisco Chronicle review was typical: "Hudson turns Dreamgirls into an event, giving it an aura of significance and specialness. The magic all derives from her."
Director: Bill Condon
Producer: Lawrence Mark
Screenplay: Bill Condon
Cinematography: Tobias Schliesser
Editor: Virginia Katz
Costume Design: Sharen Davis
Production Designer: John Myhre
Music: Songs from the original Broadway production by Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger; new songs by Krieger, Siedah Garrett, Willie Reale, Anne Preven; original score by Stephen Trask
Principal Cast: Jamie Fox (Curtis Taylor Jr.), Beyonce Knowles (Deena Jones), Eddie Murphy (James "Thunder" Early), Danny Glover (Marty Madison), Jennifer Hudson (Effie White), Anika Noni Rose (Lorell Robinson), Keith Robinson (C.C. White), Sharon Leal (Michelle Morris), Hinton Battle (Wayne)
by Margarita Landazuri
Only the logos of Paramount and DreamWorks appear before the film begins; all of the other credits appear at the end of the picture. The first time the cast names are listed, the names Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy appear before the title. Shots of them within the movie are shown under their names. Similar shots are presented for several other cast members, including Danny Glover and Anika Noni Rose. Two title cards reading "And introducing/Jennifer Hudson" are followed by scenes of her from the film. When the credits for director Bill Condon, director of photography Tobias Schliessler and other major crew members appear, sequences of them doing their jobs are presented. For production designer John Myhre and costume designer Sharen Davis, some of their sketches for the film are shown, along with the realized images. For editor Virginia Katz, a montage is presented, and when casting directors Debra Zane's and Jay Binder's title card appears, photos of the various extras appear to illustrate the depth of their work. Choreographer Fatima Robinson's credit is accompanied by a montage of dances and the theatrical lighting designed by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer is illuminated by examples of lighting used during the various concert scenes.
The last title card before the main credits roll dedicates the film to the memory of Michael Bennett (1943-1987), who directed and choreographed the Broadway musical on which the film was based. The end credits thank Jack Morrissey and Dick Clark Productions, among others. When the characters in the film first watch the television show American Bandstand, archival footage of host Dick Clark is seen, but an impersonator supplies his voice. During the picture, some of the songs highlight the action and express the characters' emotions, such as the song "Listen," during which "Deena Jones" declares her freedom from "Curtis Taylor, Jr." Other songs have lyrics that advances the plot, such as "Family," in which "Effie White's" friends convince her to sing backup rather than lead.
The immensely popular musical Dreamgirls, with music by Henry Kreiger, book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and directed and choreographed by Bennett, opened on Broadway on December 20, 1981. Loosely inspired by the careers of singer Diana Ross, who replaced her longtime friend Florence Ballard as the lead singer of the Supremes, and of music impresarios Berry Gordy, Jr. and Phil Spector, the musical won six Tony Awards. The key song, Effie's show-stopping, plaintive lament "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," became a regular feature of original theatrical cast member Jennifer Holliday's nightclub act. In various sources, Condon related that he attended the opening night of Dreamgirls and had been fascinated with it ever since.
According to a September 1996 Screen International item, Bennett, best known for creating the smash theatrical musical A Chorus Line, had hoped to direct a film version of Dreamgirls himself. In 1987, several sources noted that Whitney Houston was in talks to star in the film adaptation and at this point producer David Geffen was to make the picture with Howard Ashman, according to a December 2006 WSJ article. Daily Variety reported in November 1989 that Spike Lee was to direct the film for Geffen. At that time, the picture was to be co-produced by Geffen Pictures and Warner Bros., and in March 1989, Hollywood Reporter noted that Eyen had written a screenplay for Geffen. In a March 1989 New York Times interview, Eyen relayed that he had originally written Dreamgirls in the 1970s as a movie script but it "wound up on the stage" instead because he felt that the story was more suited to the theater.
Los Angeles Times reported in November 1992 that Frank Oz was "firmly attached" to direct, with Todd Graff in discussions to write the screenplay. In 1994, Geffen co-founded DreamWorks SKG with partners Steven Spielberg and Jeffery Katzenberg, and left the property with Warner Bros. Joel Schumacher was signed to direct the picture for Warner Bros. in September 1996 and in December 1997, Daily Variety reported that he was developing the screenplay with Tina Andrews. Among the stars announced as being in negotiations to star under Schumacher were Lauryn Hill, lead singer of the group The Fugees, as Deena, Kelly Price as Effie and Don Cheadle as "James `Thunder' Early." Other sources add that R&B singer Aaliyah was considered to star before her death in 2001.
By September 1998, Daily Variety reported that Warner Bros. had canceled the project due to the box-office failure of its 1998 film Why Do Fools Fall in Love, a musical biography about 1950s black, teenaged singer Frankie Lymon. Geffen's interest in reviving the property was renewed after the success of the 2002 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago, which was written by Condon. According to the December 2006 WSJ article, however, Warner Bros. was "concerned" about the picture's proposed $73 million budget and "ultimately opted out of a co-production." In October 2005, Daily Variety announced that Paramount was partnering with DreamWorks to co-finance Dreamgirls.
Daily Variety noted in May 2005 that R&B performer Usher had been signed to star as "C. C. White," but the part ultimately went to Keith Robinson. November 13, 2006 credits released by Paramount and DreamWorks list the following actors who were cut from the finished film: Jordan Belfi (Adam Brooks); Toni Trucks (Woman in D.C. bar); Damion Poitier (Man in D.C. bar); Rick Scarry (Atlanta deejay); E. J. Callahan (Older white man); Michael Cline (Reporter); Angela Sorensen (Reporter); Victor Togunde (Contestant); Denis F. Chavis (Security guard); and Jason Graham (Roadie). According to an article she wrote for the November 5, 2006 issue of Los Angeles Times, Rachel Abramowitz appears in the film as an extra during the sequence set in the Caesar's Palace nightclub. In the article, Abramowitz wrote that the film's choreographer, Fatima Robinson, "won a contest" in order to get the job. Hinton Battle, who plays "Wayne" in the film, appeared as Jimmy Early in the 1980s Broadway production as a summer replacement for Cleavant Derricks, who originated the role, and Yvette Carson, who plays "May," appeared in the Broadway cast as "Charlene" and also understudied the part of Effie. Loretta Devine, who played "Lorrell Robinson" in the original Broadway show, appears in the film version as the jazz singer who eulogizes Jimmy at a nightclub wake.
Four original songs were written especially for the film by Henry Krieger and other composers: "Love You I Do," "Patience," "Perfect World" and "Listen." The onscreen credits note that the soundtrack was available through Music World Music/Sony Urban Music/Columbia. As noted by the onscreen credits, the picture was shot at the Los Angeles Center Studios, at which was recreated the Crystal Room in Miami and the interior of a Caesar's Palace nightclub, according to studio publicity. The press kit also reveals that the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles was used as the interior of the Detroit Theatre, and that Los Angeles' Orpheum Theatre, Tower Theatre and Alexandria Hotel, and Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium were used as location sites. According to a September 2006 Vogue article, some of the sequences involving Curtis' Cadillac dealership were shot on location at "an old Cadillac dealership in South Central" Los Angeles. The interiors of the 1970s headquarters of Rainbow Records were filmed in the historic Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, according to studio publicity. Additionally, the location of Curtis and Deena's luxurious Hollywood mansion was the Frank Sinatra House in Chatsworth, CA. Various sources reported the film's final budget as $75 million.
The picture opened for a limited, roadshow engagement on December 15, 2006 in one theater each in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, with reserved seating and ticket prices set at $25. In a November 7, 2006 Daily Variety article, studio executives explained their decision to open the picture as old-fashioned roadshow as a desire to bring the picture to "audiences in a special way." Included at the roadshow venues were special lobby exhibits on the making of the film, complete with costumes and props.
The picture marked the feature film debut of Jennifer Hudson, who had been a heavily favored finalist on the 2004 season of the television reality series American Idol, although she did not win. According to studio publicity, Hudson beat out more than 700 other actresses for the pivotal role of Effie. In a December 2006 interview with WSJ, Geffen, one of the producers of the Broadway show, announced that after finally shepherding Dreamgirls onto the screen, he was "finished with the movie business" and would turn to other ventures. In the article, Geffen noted that he had "declined to take a producer credit on the movie" because he thought of himself as "just a facilitator" for Condon and producer Lawrence Mark.
On May 19, 2006, only a few weeks after the end of principal photography, approximately twenty minutes of the film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. According to several newspaper articles, Paramount and DreamWorks mounted a campaign to advertise the picture by paying the licensing fees for all high schools, colleges, community theaters and any other non-commercial group that wanted to produce the stage show during 2006. Los Angeles Times noted on December 12, 2006 that to that date, more than fifty productions of the show had been staged around the country during the year, thanks to the promotion. In a December 12, 2006 Los Angeles Times interview, Holliday complained that her original Broadway cast recording of the song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" was used in the film's trailers rather than Hudson's, and that she had not received any compensation.
The film received rave reviews, especially for Hudson, Eddie Murphy, the cinematography and costumes. Rolling Stone declared Hudson's debut "a glorious, Oscar-ready cause for celebration" and called Murphy "electrifying in his riskiest role ever." Many reviewers also praised the decision to have the film emphasize the racial tensions and social changes of the 1960s and 1970s much more than the Broadway show.
Dreamgirls was named one of AFI's Movies of the Year. In addition, the film won an Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing and, for her performance in the film, Hudson won Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film garnered Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and three nominations for Best Song ("Listen," "Love You I Do" and "Patience"). Murphy was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Dreamgirls also received the following Golden Globes: Best Movie-Musical or Comedy; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Hudson); and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Murphy). The picture was also nominated for Golden Globes in the categories of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy (Knowles) and Best Original Song-Motion Picture ("Listen"). Dreamgirls was nominated for feature film of the year by the Producers Guild of America and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture by the Screen Actors Guild, which also nominated Hudson for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role and Murphy for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. Hudson received the Best Breakthrough Performance-Female award from the National Board of Review, was named Best Supporting Actress by the New York Film Critics and received a BAFTA award for Actress in a Supporting Role. Krieger was nominated for a BAFTA for Achievement in Film Music. Condon was nominated for Directorial Achievement in Feature Film by the Directors Guild in America.
Winner of the Breakthrough Performance Award (Jennifer Hudson) at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Co-winner of the 2006 award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance (Jennifer Hudson) by the National Board of Review (NBR).
Co-winner of the 2006 Satellite Award for Best Director and winner of three 2006 Satellite Awards including Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson), Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical and Best Sound (Editing & Mixing) by the International Press Academy (IPA).
Voted one of the 10 best films of 2006 by the American Film Institute (AFI).
Winner of the 2006 award for Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson) by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
Winner of the 2006 award for Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson) by the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC).
Winner of the 2006 award for Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson) by the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA).
Winner of the 2006 award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing by the Cinema Audio Society (CAS).
Winner of the 2006 Eddie Award for Best Edited Feature Film - Comedy or Musical by the American Cinema Editors (ACE).
Winner of the 2006 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing for Music in a Musical Feature Film by the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE).
Winner of two 2006 awards including Best Supporting Actor (Eddie Murphy) and Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson) by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
Released in United States Winter December 15, 2006
Expanded Release in United States December 25, 2006
Released in United States on Video May 1, 2007
Released in United States January 2007
Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Gala Presentations) January 4-15, 2007.
Based on the musical play "Dreamgirls" written by Tom Eyen.
Lauren Hill had previously been mentioned for the role of Deena Jones. Usher was previously mentioned for the role of C.C. White.
Joel Schumacher was previously attached to direct.
Aaliyah was attached to project until her untimely death.
David Geffen was previously attached to produce.
Project was previously in development with David Geffen's Geffen Pictures before he brought the project with him to DreamWorks SKG.
Project was in turnaround at Warner Bros.
Released in United States Winter December 15, 2006 (NY, SF)
Expanded Release in United States December 25, 2006
Released in United States on Video May 1, 2007
Released in United States January 2007 (Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Gala Presentations) January 4-15, 2007.)
Winner of the 2007 Artios Award for Feature Film - Drama by the Casting Society of America (CSA).