Glen Cove native Ashanti is set to play a pop star...

Glen Cove native Ashanti is set to play a pop star in the film "Honey Girls," based on the Build-A-Bear Workshop product line. Credit: Getty Images for Frito-Lay / Ilya S. Savenok

Grammy Award winning singer-actress Ashanti, a Glen Cove native, and dancer and online star Tessa Brooks will headline "Honey Girls," a live-action movie based on the product line of Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Planned for release this autumn, the movie features Ashanti as global pop star Fancy G, host of a music competition seeking the next great solo artist. Three young musicians discover they work well together and form a band, Honey Girls, that performs in disguise in order to avoid detection and elimination from the show. When discord arises, they find themselves at a crossroads between fame and friendship.

Aliyah Mastin, Ava Grace and Frankie McNellis also star in the movie, which marks music-video director Trey Fanjoy's feature debut.

Brooks, 21, on Tuesday posted a video snippet on Instagram Stories, where content cycles out after 24 hours, showing a director's chair labeled "The Honey Girls," with the definite article "The," on one side and "Tessa Brooks" on the other, suggesting the movie has begun production.

Ashanti, 40, born Ashanti Douglas, is a multiplatinum R&B singer whose first two albums each hit no. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the 2000s.

She has appeared in films including "Coach Carter" (2005) and "Resident Evil: Extinction" (2007), and starred in the 2019 Lifetime telefilm "A Christmas Winter Song." Her TV credits include "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and a cast role in the final season of "Army Wives."

"The Honey Girls story uses the power of music as a catalyst to both encourage the celebration of individuality while recognizing that we can also be 'better together,' wrapped in a fun girl-empowerment story of discovery," said Sharon Price John, president and chief executive of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., in a statement.

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