Casting for The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.

Last year, in my column in Crimespree magazine, I talked about the plans for a film or cable series based on Alexander McCall Smith’s The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Now there is finally some movement towards making it actually happen.

Jill Scott has been signed to play Precious Ramotswe, , owner of the Botswana-based detective agency.

Scott is a singer/songwriter. Her debut album, Who is Jill Scott? – Words and Sounds volume one, snagger her a Grammy Award. She has appeared on television (Girlfriends, Cavedweller) She will make her big screen debut (She appeared in Dave Chapelle’s Block Party…though as a performer) in Tyler Perry’s forthcoming Why did I get Married?

Tony winner Anika Noni Rose will be playing her secretary/assistant Grace Makutsi.

Rose recently starred in Dreamgirls and won a Tony award, in 2004, for the Broadway musical “Caroline, or Change.

Oscar winner Anthony Mingella (Cold Mountain, The English Patient) is directing, with a script from Richard Curtis (Nodding Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones diary).

The Hollywood Reporter is saying that a television series is also likely, but that no steps have been taken towards that end.

This really is not my sort of thing, but the addition of Richard Curtis (as the writer) certainly has me intrigued. I am a big fan of Nodding Hill, Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral. What can I say? In addition murder, betrayal and deceit, I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy.