NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) — Hip-hop artist/actor Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel and Martin Freeman (“The Office”) are thumbing a ride with “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” a big-screen adaptation of the cult hit novel by Douglas Adams.

Mos Def will play Ford Prefect, an alien disguising himself as an out-of-work actor who sets out on an intergalactic journey with his best friend, mild-mannered earthling Arthur Dent (Freeman). The duo hitches a ride through space with the two-headed president of the galaxy, the beautiful and brilliant scientist Trillion (Deschanel) and a depressed robot while on a quest to discover the meaning of life.

The Disney/Spyglass project begins shooting in April in London under director Garth Jennings. Adams, who died in 2001, adapted his novel for the screen. After his death, Karey Kirkpatrick came aboard for a rewrite. The cult hit “Hitchhiker’s Guide” began as a radio series and launched a book series, television series and video game.

After starting his career as a hip-hop artist, Mos Def is on a roll in Hollywood. He appears in the Kevin Bacon drama “The Woodsman,” which was a Sundance Film Festival hit and was acquired last week by Newmarket Films. Mos Def also has appeared in “The Italian Job,” “Brown Sugar” and “Monster’s Ball” and recently wrapped HBO Films’ upcoming “Something the Lord Made,” with Alan Rickman. He is set to release a new album on Geffen Records this year.

Deschanel also made the rounds at Sundance with Lions Gate Films’ “Eulogy,” and hosted the closing-night awards ceremony. Her credits include “Elf,” “The Good Girl,” “All the Real Girls,” “Manic” and “Almost Famous.”

Freeman’s credits include “Love Actually,” “The Debt,” “Hardware” and “Ali G Indahouse.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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