Angela Bassett's certainly better known as an actor than she is as a director, but it looks like she'll be taking some time out from in front of the camera to helm a TV movie based on the life of Whitney Houston. Lifetime announced plans today for an original movie, tentatively titled Whitney Houston, which will be directed by Houston's Waiting to Exhale co-star Angela Bassett.
Whitney Houston is set up to tell the love story of the late singing icon Whitney Houston and her husband Bobby Brown. Lifetime has the film set for a 2015 world premiere. The story will focus on Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's relationship from the first time they met, at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage. And it sounds like the movie will emphasize both the rewards and the consequences that came with their success and fame achieved by Houston, who was not only a singer, but also an actress, a producer and model.
“I have such regard for both Whitney’s and Bobby’s amazing talents and accomplishments; and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story,” said Bassett. “Their humanity and bond fascinates us all. I’m beyond excited to have this opportunity to go behind the camera and into their world.”
Given the controversy surrounding Brown and Houston's relationship over the years, not to mention the tragic death of Houston in 2012, there's sure to be an audience for a dramatization of Whitney Houston's story. It'll be especially interesting to see how Bassett approaches the subject matter. Not only did Bassett star alongside Houston in Waiting to Exhale, but she also has some notable experience with biopics related to controversial celebrities. Bassett played the role of Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson in the TV movie The Jacksons: An American Dream, and she played Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It.
At Lifetime, Bassett's biopic experience is a lot more recent, as she starred alongside Mary J. Blige in last year's original movie Betty & Coretta, in which Bassett and Blige played Coretta Scott King and Dr. Betty Shabazz, wives of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. It's actually Betty & Coretta scribe Shem Bitterman who's penning the script for Whitney Houston
On the directorial side, the only thing listed among Bassett's credits is a movie called Book of the Year, about a novelist trying to deal with fame. The status on that isn't listed, however, so the Whitney Houston Lifetime movie may be the first opportunity we get to see how Bassett works behind the camera.
We'll be especially interested to see who's cast in the roles of Whitney and Bobby. Will the movie aim for newcomers, or will they seek some more seasoned actors to play the role of the to artists? We'll be sure to keep you posted once more updates emerge. In the meantime, keep an eye out for Whitney Houston, which is slated for a 2015 debut.