Whitney Houston's Producers Rave About Upcoming Performance In Musical Drama Sparkle

The entertainment world shifted its focus to Whitney Houston late Saturday and into Sunday morning following the news of the 48-year-old singer’s untimely passing. In the short term, many of her fans are bracing for a heartfelt tribute to the pop sensation during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards. In the long term, however, we’re happy to report that Houston has at least one more film project that will see the light of day later this year, giving her grieving supporters something to look forward to.

Houston filmed scenes for Salim Akil’s Sparkle alongside American Idol winner Jordan Sparks, Mike Epps and Derek Luke, and Sony today confirmed that they plan to release the musical drama in August, according to THR. A remake of the Sam O'Steen 1976 picture, Sparkle stars Sparks as a bright, young up-and-comer who transitions from the Gospel choir to the big-time stage. The original film was a loose telling of the career arc of The Supremes. Houston is set to play Emma, Sparkle’s mother, who’s none too pleased with (and probably a little jealous of) her daughter’s overnight success.

It will be Houston’s last role. Though best known as an international singing sensation, Houston did act from time to time, most notably with Kevin Costner in the 1992 hit The Bodyguard. And some who spoke to the trade magazine say that Sparkle could have been the big-screen comeback Houston was waiting on. "This would have been a big, big comeback, she is so brilliant in it," said Howard Rosenman, an executive producer on both the original film and its new remake. "I was just raving about her performance, she was so great in it. I'm just in shock."

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.