Queen Latifah faces tough competition for the role of Botswanan detective Precious Ramotswe in director Anthony Minghella's new film from that country's health minister, Sheila Tlou.
The rapper-turned-actress, whose real name is Dana Owens, is in negotiations with Minghella's production company Mirage for the leading role in the film based on Alexander McCall Smith's novel The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
But Latifah is up against Tlou, who has already portrayed Ramotswe in two stage productions in Botswana.
A Mirage spokesman said Latifah has previously spoken of her enthusiasm for the book saying: "I adore the whole series and all the characters."
Casting agents have held auditions for the part in Los Angeles, London and Johannesburg.
Casting calls in Gaborone, Botswana, were swamped by locals. - Wenn