Hollywood stars Joan Allen, Kathy Bates and Claire Danes have all signed up for a new Irish film called 'Pushers Needed'.

Together with British actresses Maggie Smith and Brenda Bleythn, they will star in the comedy feature, which was written by Irish filmmaker Jimmy Smallhorne.

Details of the film, which is also to be directed by Smallhorne, were announced at the Cannes Film Festival where producers likened it to "Calendar Girls meets The Full Monty".

Smallhorn won the Best Cinematography award at Sundance in 1998 with his debut feature '2x4'.

'Pushers Needed' is the story of a group of harried, working-class housewives who win a trip to Lourdes - leaving their husbands behind to care for their children.

The Irish/UK co-production will be set in Dublin and Lourdes with filming set to begin in July.