In the past, Eddie Murphy (search) has been an actor and a singer. In a new musical, he'll get a chance to do both.

Murphy will join Jamie Foxx (search) and Beyonce Knowles (search) in the cast of the upcoming film "Dreamgirls (search)," Dreamworks has announced. To be directed by Bill Condon, "Dreamgirls" is an adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical that first ran on Broadway in the early 1980s.

The movie follows the rise of a trio of women who form a group called The Dreamettes in the 1960s. Murphy will play James "Thunder" Early, a singer for whom the Dreamettes sing back up before taking over the spotlight themselves.

Though Murphy is better known for movies like "Beverly Hills Cop," "The Nutty Professor" and the voice of Donkey in the "Shrek" films, he has released several albums of soul and pop music.

"Dreamgirls" is scheduled to begin production early next year.