Beyonce Knowles' dream role in DREAMGIRLS would have gone to Fugees star Lauryn Hill - if moviemaker Joel Schumacher had his way. The Batman Forever director was slated to take charge of the movie musical years before Bill Condon took over and cast Beyonce as his lead. Schumacher reveals, "I was talking to LAURYN HILL about playing DEENA in it." The outspoken director also had casting ideas for roles that have since earned Eddie Murphy and newcomer JENNIFER HUDSON Oscar nominations. He adds, "I wanted Don Cheadle to play the JAMES EARLY part, and Kelly Price, with that fabulous voice, I would have had her for EFFIE... I was really excited about it." But Schumacher's Dreamgirls project was axed when Why Do Fools Fall In Love? was released and flopped in 1998. On the back of the FRANKIE LYMON biopic, producers felt the time was wrong to release an R+B movie musical.