After making a big impact on us all with his saucy Geoffrey Chaucer and then snaring Jennifer Connelly in A Beautiful Mind, it seemed like Paul Bettany's cinematic career was set on the road to superstardom. Instead, he's found himself a handful of roles that keep him around, but not on the tip of tongues -- like Lars Von Trier's Dogville, that Wimbledon movie, and The Da Vinci Code. Now he's got a bunch of films on the way and has just added another. The Hollywood Reporter posts that Bettany has signed on to the cast of The Secret Life of Bees.

That's the flick I told you about last month that has Dakota Fanning fleeing her abusive dad with Jennifer Hudson and moving in with some eccentric sisters who make honey (played by Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo, and Alicia Keys). While all this is going on, she uncovers details about the mystery that is her deceased mom. Bettany will play T. Ray Owens -- unsurprisingly, the widower and abusive dad of Dakota's Lily. That's a pretty darn good choice -- he resembles the young star, and I'm sure he can pull of a creepy and conflicted man. Also added to the cast is Hilarie Burton (One Tree Hill), who will play Lily's deceased mom Deborah in some flashbacks. I'm not a follower of One Tree, so you fans out there will have to comment over her suitability in the role.

This could be a good little drama, and at the very least, should be a bit less fuss-causing than Dakota's Hounddog. Writer/director Gina Price-Bythewood will get production going later this week in North Carolina.