Dave Matthews will make his major studio film acting debut in "Because of Winn-Dixie." Director Wayne Wang will direct the 20th Century Fox feature. Also in negotiations to join the cast of the dramed

Dave Matthews will make his major studio film acting debut in "Because of Winn-Dixie." Director Wayne Wang will direct the 20th Century Fox feature. Also in negotiations to join the cast of the dramedy are Jeff Daniels and Eva Marie Saint.

Due to start shooting in late September, the film tells the story of a 10-year-old girl who moves to the small Florida town of Naomi with her preacher father (Daniels). Lonely and friendless, the girl grows close to a big, ugly, suffering dog, Winn-Dixie, whom she names after the supermarket where she finds him. Because of the dog, she winds up meeting and befriending a colorful cast of characters that becomes her extended family, including a drifter (Matthews) and a librarian (Saint).

Co-producer Joan Singleton adapted the screenplay based on the novel "Because of Winn-Dixie," by Kate Dicamillo.

Matthews' past acting credits include the independent feature "Where the Red Fern Grows."

As previously reported, the Dave Matthews Band leader will release his first solo album, "Some Devil," Sept. 23 via RCA. The title track has also been picked to serve as the closing song for the film "21 Grams," starring Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts.

Dave Matthews Band is in the midst of a summer tour that will play New Jersey's Giants Stadium tonight (Aug. 25).

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