The film, to be directed and written by Gavin Hood, is adapted from Orson Scott Card's novel about a scientist who is recruited to help destroy an insect-like alien race.
The cast will also feature Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Aramis Knight, Moises Arias, Jimmy "Jax" Pinchak, Suraj Parthasarathy, Conor Carroll, and Khylin Rhambo.
Davis has received Tony Awards for her work in King Hedley II and Fences. She is a 2011 Oscar nominee for The Help, for which she has already won the SAG Award among other honors, and also received an Oscar nomination for Doubt.
In related news, Variety is also reporting that Davis will appear in Richard LaGravanese's film Beautiful Creatures, an adaptation of the Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia's novel about two teens who must confront a curse that has haunted the girl's family for generations.