Oscar winner JENNIFER HUDSON is the favourite to bring jazz and blues legend Billie Holiday back to life on the big screen - and it's all thanks to New York columnist Liz Smith.
The gossip queen suggested the DREAMGIRLS star would be the perfect choice to play Holiday in a potential remake of the original 1972 DIANA ROSS-starring biopic Lady Sings the Blues.
Smith didn't know that the biopic's producer, Jay Weston, was considering a revamp of his film - and her pick of Hudson was music to his ears.
In her Daily Variety column this morning (22MAR07), Smith revealed Weston had written to her to inform her he was now in negotiations with Hudson about the film project.
Weston told Smith, "I have always wanted to go back and do a more authentic version of her (Holiday) story.
"Recently, we developed a wonderful new treatment about the true love affair that Billie had with the black DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent who eventually had to arrest her.
"I was lunching... the other day and Jennifer Hudson walked by and I suddenly realised she would be perfect (for the role)... so we are now pursuing her."
If she takes the role, this will be Hudson's second movie connection to soul star Ross - Dreamgirls is loosely based on the story of supergroup The Supremes, which was fronted by Ross.